SK Gupta frontrunner for CBDT top job after extension

New Delhi, Aug 2 (IANS) A routine looking order by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) marks a rare case, if not a first for the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT). The order makes S.K. Gupta probably the first member in the CBDT who has been given extension in service.

If not the first, then this is certainly a rare case of a CBDT member getting an extension of service. It is learnt that an important reason for this is the commencement of the faceless assessment by the Income Tax Department which will be the Department’s biggest paradigm shift in the coming months. Gupta’s track record as a domain expert in faceless assessment procedure and systems seems to have been a factor in the extension.

A 1984-batch IRS officer, Gupta is now the frontrunner to become the new CBDT Chairman after incumbent P.C. Mody’s tenure is over. CBDT falls under the jurisdiction of Revenue Secretary Ajay Bhushan Pandey, who was a batchmate of Gupta in their IIT days. The possibilities being discussed are that Gupta takes over as CBDT Chairman after August or in the event of Mody getting a say, six-month extension, will take over after that.

The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet approved the re-appointment of Indian Revenue Service (IRS) officer Gupta as a member of the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT). “The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) has approved re-appointment of Satish Kumar Gupta, lRS as Member, Central Board of Direct Taxes upon his superannuation on July 31, 2020 for a period of one year with effect from August 1, 2020, or until further orders, whichever is earlier,” a government notification said on Tuesday.

CBDT chairman Mody retires on August 31. Mody was earlier set to retire on August 31, 2019, but was given a one-year extension. There is speculation that Mody may be shifted to either the Election Commission or CAG’s office.