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GST officials call for more staff to address taxpayers' queries

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WITH even the tax practitioners requesting simplification of GST, a meeting of the State's commercial tax officials in the city admitted that they were unable to help the taxpayers in many situations. The meeting on Sunday was attended by more than a hundred officials. "The taxpayers have a trust that officials w ffi be able to sort out their issues. But, after the implementation of the Gm; we are facing several issues. Some of these issues are technical. Therefore, we were unable to guide them. So, our only option was to redirect them to the technical help-desk. This has affected the trust of the taxpayers in us," admitted a senior officer. With almost 4,000 vacancies in the Commercial Taxes department, the implementation of the new tax system has in-creased the workload of the employees.

 Yet, there were other officials who pointed out that the State government has taken measures to make appointments in vacant posts. "We need better infrastructure and more employees to handle the new tax system. But, the government has not taken any steps to make new appointments. This has increased the workload of the existing employees. If the government ignores the manpower shortage, the situation will become worse in the coming years," opined a commercial tax officer Significantly, the State's tax officials suggested that the Centre should give more authority to State officials in sorting the issues related to GST.

"In many cases, we are totally helpless in offering the correct advice to taxpayers. We advise them to approach the help-desk But they will again come up with the same issue and in-form us that the help-desk has not given them correct assistance. So, the taxpayers are running from pillar to post. We are not having sufficient man-power in central tax offices too. The government should either make more appointment or give more power to existing tax officers," said officials. Tamil Commercial Tax Officials Union meeting also point-ed out that the State government should abolish the contributory pension scheme and make the appointment in vacant posts.
source: epaper.newindianexpress.com/c/34122436 

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