The top official from the income tax department should be included in the task force investigating the Wall Street Journal’s allegations.
About a decade ago, my father was bed-ridden, and I bought a ripple mattress to ease his considerable discomfort. When I tried to claim this as a deduction as part of the deductions allowed by the Income Tax Department in my tax return, I was called up and told to report to the Income Tax Department.
I duly attended with all supporting documents, but I was politely told that by the Income Tax officers that a ripple mattress was not allowed as a taxable deduction under expenses incurred for supporting medical equipment for parents. Only special equipment (presumably like wheelchairs) was allowed.
I failed to see the logic. But it wasn’t big bucks anyway, and I was pleased to see our Income Tax Department folks being so diligent.
Now we have all heard stories of how Income Tax Department officer stake out businesses like street food vendors to estimate what their real sales. This is to ensure that these are properly reported in their tax returns.
The Income Tax department officers, no doubt, are also – or should be – on the lookout for those living beyond their means, especially civil servants on a fixed income.
But is the Income Tax Department missing the wood for the trees?
So given the size of the deposits mentioned in the WSJ report, I feel the task force must include a top official from the Income Tax Department to find out whether these deposits should be taxable and if so, were they properly reported in tax returns.
But will this top Income Tax official be independent from the Finance Minister, who is also the Prime Minister?
No wonder, people have been calling on the prime minister to go on leave until the investigations are concluded.