The Income Tax Department is a government agency undertaking direct tax collection of the Government of India. It functions under the Department of Revenue of the Ministry of Finance. Income Tax Department is headed by the apex body Central Board of Direct Taxes.
Taxation law is not only very complex as it requires specialized knowledge and expertise to implement, but also it necessitates various kinds of deterrent actions to ensure compliance by taxpayers.
- Assessment: Assessment is done to ensure correct estimation of total taxable income of an assessee (i.e. taxpayer) and it determines amount of tax to be payable by (or to be refunded to) asseesee.
- Fines and Penalty: These are financial punishments for non-compliance with any specific provision of the Income-tax Act.
- Surveys: ITD can survey any business premises for physical verification of records and other valuables.
- Search and Seizure: ITD can search residential and business premises of any taxpayer to check records and valuables to ensure that no evasion of tax is taking place.
- Prosecution: Certain actions of taxpayers, for example willful evasion of tax, are considered as criminal offence by the Income-tax Act and hence these offences result in prosecution.