CEOs, CMDs Should Not Generally Be Issued Summons: CBIC To Tax Officials
The Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) has directed its filed officers to exercise the power of issuing summons "judiciously and with due consideration".
Further, the officers have been also advised to explore instances when instead of resorting to summons, a letter for requisition of information may suffice.
In its fresh guidelines issued on Wednesday (17 August) under CGST, the Board said that it has noticed that in certain cases, summons have been issued by field officers to top company officials in a routine manner to call for documents and evidence.
The CBIC also flagged that summons have been issued to get records which are available online on the goods and services tax (GST) portal.
“Senior management officials such as CMD/MD/CEO/CFO/similar officers of any company or a public sector unit should not generally be issued summons in the first instance. They should be summoned when there are clear indications in the investigation of their involvement in the decision-making process which led to a loss of revenue," the guidelines read.
"Summons by superintendents should be issued after obtaining prior written permission from an officer, not below the rank of deputy commissioner or assistant commissioner, with reasons to be recorded in writing," the indirect tax authority said.
According to a Livemint report, the move comes after professionals, and industry representatives raised concerns over instances of issuing summons to senior company leaders.
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