What is the Job Profile of an Income Tax Inspector in the assessment posting?

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Income Tax Department has a policy of rotating its officials from non-assessment to assessment and vice versa every 3 years. Consequently, an Inspector will learn the technicalities of the Income Tax Act as well as of the desk job. It will do you good if you are fluent in written English and typing since these 2 skills come in very handy at both the postings. Let’s discuss the Job Profile of an Income Tax Inspector in the assessment postings.

Posting Location:

Assessment wards are situated in both, the smaller cities and the bigger cities. Smaller wards are also known as Mufalis station. The general rule is one Income Tax Office per District. Smaller districts have one Income Tax Officer, one Inspector, and 2 Tax assistants, other than the support staff on a contract basis. Technically, the strength of one ITO is sanctioned for every 11,000 Income Tax Returns received in a ward, This is, however, not enforced as there is a shortage of infrastructure and personnel.

The full list of Income Tax Offices can be viewed here. (Page 142 onwards, type ctrl+F and search for your city).

The assessment job is very good if you have an income tax office in your city. Income Tax Inspector job has this advantage over other jobs of SSC since the Income Tax Department has one of the largest numbers of offices in the country. Even if, you are from a smaller city, chances are high that you will find an income tax office within 100 km radius of your home.

Power and Prestige:

Another advantage is that you have great power and prestige in the assessment job. Since it is the Inspector who does all of the field work and inquiry, he wields true power and authority. Furthermore, It is the Inspector who suggests the potential cases to conduct a survey (technical term: raid), every businessman in the town respects him.

On this point, I’d venture to say that the Inspector of Income Tax has more true power even than a CBI Sub Inspector. The real power is the authority to take decisions independently. While an ITI has that power, a Sub-Inspector of CBI simply does not. Even an SP in CBI doesn’t have the true authority to take any decision as every file goes through 9 channels up to the level of Special Director or even the Director (CBI). In the Income-tax department, it is the Inspector which recommends cases for inquiry, surveys and even investigates the Tax Evasion Petitions (TEPs) filed by the complainants. His recommendations, if genuine, are almost always kept in mind while making any decisions.

About 30 years ago, the Income Tax Act had granted absolute powers to the Income Tax Inspectors to inspect the books of account of any assessee without any authorization or permission from any senior official. But this section was rampantly misused by the Inspectors of Income Tax to exploit the businessmen leading to the coinage of the term ‘Inspector Raaj’. During the economic reforms of 1991, that particular section was removed by the P. V. Narasimha Rao government, thereby effectively curtailing the powers of Income Tax Inspectors.

Even after that, I’d to say that an Income Tax Inspector is more powerful than the CBI Sub-Inspector since his recommendations carry more weight than that of his counterpart in CBI.

People are generally misled to think that a CBI sub-Inspector is more powerful than an Income Tax Inspector. This is not true. The correct way to say this is that ‘CBI as a department is more powerful than any other government department and has authority to act over every central government employee but no Sub-Inspector (or any officer for that matter) of CBI has any authority over any Inspector of Income Tax’. Heck, No sub-Inspector of CBI has any authority over any private person unless he is a suspect in a case investigated by him (the SI). An Income Tax Inspector has authority at least over the businessmen of his own ward since every single one of them evades Income tax.

Job Profile:

The Inspectors posted at the assessment wards are tasked mainly with the recovery work. An Inspector is required to collect the due demand from the respective assessees. Due demand means the remaining tax which is yet to be paid by the assessee. for this purpose, he will have to draft letters u/s 221(1) and 226(3) of the Income Tax Act. He is also required to follow up on these letters and may have to visit the respective bank where the defaulter assessee has his account. He should be a street-smart kid since he has to coordinate with the other government departments. The task of recovery becomes essential in the month of February and March hence these 2-3 months are generally very busy.

Other than this, an Inspector is tasked with the verification of the TEPs (Tax Evasion Petitions). A TEP is a complaint filed by a civilian detailing the potential tax evasions done by any third persons. Since TEPs are a source of secret information, they are needed to be verified before taking any action. It is the Inspector which verifies the complainant. Once he submits his preliminary report on the same, it becomes the responsibility of the ITO to dispose of the same.

An inspector also has to do the typing and drafting work. Various proformas and proposals like Internal & Revenue Audit Objections, Proposals for the issuance of notices u/s 148 of the IT Act, Survey proposal and satisfaction note, letters to different authorities, Notices u/s 133(6) etc are to be drafted and typed by the Inspector.

In the survey proceedings, an Inspector is required to Inspect the books of account, make an inventory of it, number the pages of all the books of accounts etc. He will also have to do the stock verification and make a note of it. The survey proceedings may run up to 15 hours even in a small survey.

Income tax department receives information about the cash deposits and immovable property transactions from Banks and registrars office respectively. This information is automatically populated in the internal ITBA portal of our computer system. An Inspector is expected to glean all the actionable information and present it before the ITO for any further action. This data may contain information about thousands of assessees making this task quite challenging.

Overall, the average workload is a bit lighter on the Income Tax Inspector than on a CBI Sub-Inspector. Read more about the Work profile of a CBI Sub Inspector.

This was a brief lowdown on the profile of an Income Tax Inspector.

Liked it? Read more on this subject here:

  1. The Salary and the Perks of an Income Tax Inspector (ITI).
  2. What are the different Zones in the Income Tax Department?
  3. Transfer Policy of Income Tax Department: the best in SSC?

Good luck and best wishes. Thanks for reading.

Doubts? Drop ’em in the comments and we’ll help you out.

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