In an interesting development, the government has divested the Central Board of Direct Taxes Chairman from the added responsibility of overseeing and coordination of all matters pertaining to tax investigations and made the Member, Investigation, the sole authority over this key function.
However, being the head of the tax administration board, the CBDT Chairman will coordinate and exercise overall supervision of the body, including getting updates on matters related to tax investigations.
In an office order issued by the Department of Revenue, CBDT’s Member, Investigation, has been made sole authority to exercise supervision over all Directorates General of Income Tax (Investigation), Chief Commissioners of I-T and Directorates General of Income Tax (Intelligence & Criminal Investigation).
Interestingly, new CBDT Chairman Jagannath Bidyadhar Mohapatra, who took charge in September beginning, was given additional charge of Member, Investigation just a week before the September 28 office order that stripped him of this charge and placed Nitin Gupta as Member, Investigation. Gupta was earlier holding the charge of Member, Income Tax and Services, with additional charge as Member, Taxpayers Service.
Sources said that the reversal of decision made earlier was done in recognition of Gupta’s previous record. He was the erstwhile DG, Investigations, Mumbai and erstwhile DG of the Competition Commission of India.
The Investigation Division of the CBDT is the revenue enforcement agency of the board. It functions under the Department of Revenue and is concerned with the collection and administration of, as well as enforcement and prosecution of cases related to, the various direct taxes including overseeing investigation related to violations of India’s tax laws, comprising fraud, evasion and money laundering.
In the other changes effected by the Revenue Department, Sangeeta Singh, Member, Audit and Judicial, has been given additional charge of the functions earlier with Gupta.
No other changes has been made to the functions of Anuja Sarangi who continues to hold the position of Member, Administration and Faceless Scheme, in the CBDT while Pragya Sahay Saksena is Member, Legislation and System.