Taxmen celebrate 158th Income Tax Day

RM ZUTSHI
JAMMU, JUL 24: Directorate of Income Tax Jammu and Kashmir celebrated the 158th Income Tax Day with great enthusiasm and fanfare here today. The main function in this connection was held in the evening at Jammu Club Auditorium in which Chief Justice (Retd.) of Sikkim Pramod Kohli was the Chief Guest while the Chief Commissioner of Income Tax (Amritsar) Narender Singh presided over the function. The programme commenced with the lighting of traditional lamp by Justice Kohli. This was followed by the welcome address by Principal Commissioner of Income Tax J&K Jammu R.N. Sahay and screening of a video on Direct Tax contributions in nation building.
While congratulating the officials of Income Department for performing their job nicely by strengthening the Direct Tax revenue especially in the state of Jammu and Kashmir that has faced the brunt of terrorist violence for the past few decades, Justice Kohli asserted that Income Tax law in India is the most complicated law and confessed that even he felt difficulties in filing of IT returns which the Department claims to make simpler every year. He also praised the people of Jammu especially the business fraternity for contributing a lot to the nation’s economy by paying the direct taxes. Elaborating on the history of the Income Tax Day, Justice Kohli said that it was in July 1860 that the first Income Tax Act was introduced by James Wilson who became (British) India’s first finance member to overcome the economic crisis at that time.
The Chief Commissioner IT Department felicitated the Chief Guest by presenting a memento and a shawl amid applause from the audience. In his presidential address, the Chief Commissioner spoke in detail about the need of paying taxes voluntarily to the government.
He said people need proper roads to travel, hospitals for healthcare, educational institutions, courts to dispense justice and other such organizations for various public welfare issues. And to do all this government needs money which comes from different kinds of taxes. Income Tax is one of these. So if we really want to avail the best public facilities for our socio-economic well-being we must pay our taxes readily and fully.
He said, the purpose of celebrating this day is to meet the people and listen to their problems and devise means and ways to solve those. It is an occasion to communicate the rules and laws of taxation besides conveying the paradigm shift in the entire process from tax calculations to tax collection made hassle-free and easy by the use of technology.
Highlighting the importance of J&K for the IT Department, Chief IT Commissioner said, J&K is a special concern for the department and we always want to make it hassle-free and harassment-free for all taxpayers in the state. He also informed that J&K will soon have an Additional Commissioner besides a separate Commissioner Income Tax (Appeals).
It is pertinent to mention here that the practice of celebrating July 24 as Income Tax Day started in 2010 when the Income-tax levy became 150 years old. The purpose of celebrating this day is to propagate the significance of paying the tax and creating awareness among the public.
Prominent among others who spoke on the occasion were President Chamber of Commerce and Industry, President Income Tax Bar Association and Chairman, J&K Branch NIRC of ICAI.
The programme concluded with a cultural programme in which the Ghazal King of J&K Suraj Singh mesmerized the audience with his magical voice.
The vote of thanks was presented by Additional Commissioner of Income Tax S.K. Sharma.
Earlier during the day essay and painting competitions were held at the Amar Singh Club and the winners were presented awards at the function in the evening by the Chief Guest.