Keen to shed its harassing image, India's tax authorities are taking an unusual approach to encourage people to pay their taxes: awarding certificates and thanking taxpayers for their contribution.
According to an Economic Times report, the certificates will be signed by CBDT chairman Rani Singh Nair, and call out the taxpayer's name, permanent account number (PAN), and the thank you for contribution "towards building of this great Nation."
Taxpayers who have no outstanding tax liabilities and filed their returns on time, will stand to receive these certificates: bronze for paying ₹1 lakh and ₹10 lakh; silver for ₹10 to ₹50 lakh, and gold for ₹50 lakh to ₹1 crore. The majority of taxpayers would fall in the bronze category. There's also a platinum category for people paying over ₹1 crore in tax.
Indian authorities have been making a push in raising tax collection, and this year alone the government sent out 700,000 notices asking people to declare black money.
According to official data, only about one per cent of India's population paid taxes in the year 2012-2013. Less than one per cent of the country's population had declared income over ₹1lakh in 2012 to 2013. Overall, about 14 lakh people accounted for 75 percent of the total personal income tax collection.