The income-tax department's initiative of felicitating high net-worth individuals or HNIs paying hefty taxes is making a few of them anxious.
According to an Economic Times report, while these individuals appreciate the intention of the government, they are wary of the public nature of this felicitation, and feel confidentiality on tax information might be breached.
As per the report income tax offices across the country are set to invite up to 100 top tax payers in their regions for felicitation. After multiple red-flags over data privacy concerns, the revenue department might consider either canceling such programmes or at least not announcing names.
Rakesh Nangia, Managing Partner of Nangia and Company LLP, believes such felicitation should not become public information, since the taxpayers would want to keep their personal information confidential.
The government had first started felicitation of taxpayers in 2016 by sending out emails with different certificates of appreciation. Last year, bronze, silver, gold, and platinum certificates were distributed based on different income brackets.
Chartered Accountant Amit Maheshwari, Partner, Ashok Maheshwary and Associates LLP believes some of these individuals do not want to be highlighted by the tax department, fearing harassment. Such HNIs have also gone to their tax advisors for consultation.
Government officials however, state people’s data was not being breached, as the department is not sharing data with anyone. The exercise was just to encourage more people to pay their taxes.According to government data, close to 60 million PAN-card holders out of a total of 290 million file income-tax returns.