The National Board of Revenue (NBR) has asked its field offices to issue tax acknowledgement slips immediately after submission of returns by the taxpayers.
The income tax wing of the board issued eight-point instructions to the taxmen for checking the scope of harassment as the November 30 deadline for submission of individuals' tax returns is approaching, officials said.
Officials said the instructions have been issued as the NBR will not hold tax fair this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The taxpayers will have to visit tax offices this year for submitting their returns.
Some 655,000 taxpayers, more than one-third of the total returns filed, submitted their returns in the last year's tax fair. Every year, 2.2 million taxpayers submit returns out of 4.7 million TIN holders.
It has been alleged that many of the field-level tax offices do not issue acknowledgement slips immediately after submission of the returns.
Allegedly, the taxpayers have to bribe the taxmen to collect the slip immediately, otherwise they have to visit the tax offices several times to obtain the slip.
Other instructions included making the taxpayers' information services effective and cooperating taxpayers for submission of the tax returns, ensuring availability of return forms, chalan forms etc. in the field offices, starting two shifts of office hours, keeping facility to e-TIN registration and re-registration, updating the website of all field offices with required information of taxpayers etc.
In the current fiscal year, the government has made tax return submission mandatory for all the TIN holders.
Officials said the tax offices are taking preparation to receive two-fold higher tax returns this year.
However, they said, the field offices have scarcity of manpower to deal with such a large number of returns. They would also have to face even more difficulty with the huge number of manual returns.
Majority of the taxpayers still submit returns manually as the NBR failed to make online platform popular.