'Taxpayer should be seen as an important partner in generating revenue': Mukherjee

New Delhi, Apr. 29 (ANI): President Pranab Mukherjee on Monday said the taxpayer should be seen as an important partner in generating revenue for all our national endeavours.

President Mukherjee said tax collection is neither a simple nor popular task, and added that the tax collectors should be conscious of the rights and duties of citizens.

"The taxpayer should be seen as an important partner in generating revenue for all our national endeavours. It is the tax they provide which funds welfare schemes, helps maintain law and order, protect our borders etc. Many empires have collapsed in the past because Governments did not have money to pay their soldiers. Kautilya's words 'Kosh Moolo Dandah' i.e. "revenue is the backbone of administration" continues to be as relevant today as it was thousands of years ago," he added.

Stating that more than two-thirds of trade is between related group entities in a globalized world, President Mukherjee said the inter-group transactions offer an opportunity for multinational enterprises to locate their profits in favourable tax jurisdictions with low taxes or no taxes.

"Issues like Transfer Pricing are also very complicated. Taxation has thus acquired new complexities with political, legal as well as international ramifications. India has been taking measures in the form of Double Taxation Avoidance Agreements and Tax Information Exchange Agreements to safeguard its interests," said President Mukherjee.

"Earlier, countries were very reluctant to share information. One of the indirect benefits of the 2008 financial crisis was that recalcitrant countries have been compelled to share information," he added.

President Mukherjee said the income tax department has been one of the front-runners in taking technological initiatives with a view to handle the expectations of our taxpayers.

"A series of steps have been taken - Centralisation of tax collection, simplification of tax forms, improvements in the method of submitting taxes, simplification of tax laws etc. The modernisation of our tax laws is very important," he added in his address at the valedictory ceremony of the 65th batch of the Indian Revenue Services (IRS).

President Mukherjee told the IRS officers that the government depends on them to collect taxes from the people in an efficient manner.

"I have no doubt you will discharge your responsibilities to the motherland with competence and confidence," he said.

President Mukherjee also congratulated the IRS officers on the successful completion of their professional training. (ANI)

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