Fraudulent IT refund

Income tax and any other taxes are important for development work. The Government has fixed slabs, and various reliefs under various sections are available for eligible taxpayers only. It is also clear that, after an initial fixed income, different slabs of income tax have to be applied and the subsequent tax must be paid as per the calculations. To avoid tax evasion and follow up with individuals, all Governments as well as private entities are liable to deduct tax at the source and let the individuals claim legitimate refunds while filing their returns. The Government is being honest about its commitment to refunds, and taxpayers are receiving their refunds promptly without any follow-up. Severe penalties and laws are there for refund fraud, and yet so many people fraudulently claim refunds that is surprising. The matter becomes more serious when Government employees claim undue refunds. It is not one department but employees of almost every department that are indulging in such illegal practices. The Income Tax Office has rightly taken up the matter with the Jammu and Kashmir Administration with all the data and proofs. The administration has also understood the gravity of the situation and issued an official letter instructing employees to correct and update their annual returns before March 31, along with the imposition of minor penalties. If the employees fail to modify their return, then severe penalties and legal action will be taken against them under the law. Employees and the public, in general, must understand that this is a digital age, and with Aadhaar, PAN, insurance, and other investments also interlinked and traceable immediately, one cannot hide his/her income nowadays. If the Government is trusting the income taxpayers, there is no logic or reason for taxpayers to get fraudulent refunds.