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Income-Tax Ombudsman

Topics covered:

  1. Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies.
  2. Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability.


Income-Tax Ombudsman


What to study?

  • For Prelims: Income-Tax Ombudsman- key features.
  • For Mains: Why is it being abolished? Issues associated.


Context: The Union Cabinet chaired has approved the proposal for Abolition of Institution of Income-Tax Ombudsman and Indirect Tax Ombudsman.


What necessitated this?

The approval comes in the wake of alternative complaint redressal mechanisms chosen by public and the institution of Ombudsman could not prove to be more effective than regular existing parallel channels of grievance redressal.

The Institution of Income-Tax Ombudsman was created in the year 2003 to deal with grievances of public related to settlement of complaints relating to Income Tax. However, the Institution of Ombudsman failed to achieve its objectives.

It was observed that institution of new complaints have in turn fallen to single digits. Also, tax payers started preferring alternate methods of grievance redressal like CPGRAMS (Centralized Public Grievance Redress and Monitoring System), AaykarSevaKendras etc. further, it was also decided in 2011 to close vacant offices of Indirect Tax Ombudsman.


About the Ombudsman:

  • It was established for resolution of complaints relating to the Income Tax Department like an overdue refund.
  • It was autonomous and hence independent of the jurisdiction of the Income tax department.