CBDT's "name & shame" strategy rolls out...
Many newspapers have prominently covered the CBDT releasing a list of 18 tax defaulters who collectively owe the Govt. treasury close to Rs. 500 cr ( http://indianexpress.com/article/business/business-others/i-t-dept-releases-list-of-18-defaulters-who-owe-rs500-crore/) . What is interesting in this Indian Express story is this quote attributed to a source:
"The department has tried to “name and shame" the defaulters into paying the dues”, a source said. "This is the first time the department has put in public domain a list of those wilful tax defaulters who have a tax liability of Rs 10 crore and above. In many cases the assessees were not traceable,” the sources said.
Our readers may recollect a headline news article we had published exactly 2 years ago : ' DGIT criticizes 'tax dodging', info non-sharing by MNCs; outlines "name & shame" strategy ( http://www.taxsutra.com/news/7420/DGIT-criticizes-tax-dodging-info-non-sharing-by-MNCs-outlines-name-shame-strategy) . This step is clearly inspired from Western nations where a similar, high decibel campaign has been launched over the last couple of years, not only by the respective Parliaments and IRS divisions, but also a street campaign in countries such as UK, where MNC giants like Vodafone and Starbucks came under attack from the citizens who threatened to boycott their products for perceived "tax dodging/avoidance."
But there is a question mark over whether such a campaign can work in India .. a simple rationale for the same - Some of the biggest corporate houses in India are mired in litigations and are being probed in multi billion dollar scams. Will a few hundred million dollars tax dodging allegation damage their reputation/image? The jury is out on the same! Nevertheless, interesting & potentially nervous times ahead for taxpayers.