The nation marks Income Tax Day on 24 July every year. This year marks the 162nd anniversary of the occasion, also called Aaykar Diwas.
Every year, the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) organises several activities to spread awareness about the importance of taxation for nation building. The department also promotes payment of taxes and highlights how paying the due taxes on time is the duty of all citizens.
Why is Income Tax Day celebrated on 24 July?
It was on 24 July 1860 that Income Tax was introduced in India by Sir James Wilson. The system came into force to compensate for the losses incurred by the British regime during the Revolt of 1857.
In 2010, the Finance Ministry decided to mark the existence of this levy by establishing Income Tax Day on 24 July. "Since income tax was first levied as a duty in the year 1860 and the authority to levy that duty came into force on July 24 of that year, it is proposed to celebrate this day as the Income Tax Investiture Day," a finance ministry official said about the celebrations in 2010, as per a PTI report. The celebrations were inaugurated by then-Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee.
Importance of Income Tax:
Income tax is one of the major sources of revenue for the Centre. The tax collected by the Union government is used to provide services to the citizens, for payment of government obligations and to undertake developmental works for the betterment of the country.
The week preceding Aaykar Diwas is marked by several outreach programmes related to the importance of taxation. Several activities are organised to draw attention to why people should pay taxes such as street plays, walkathons, debates and more. Tax officials also visit educational institutes and other places to interact with the public on these issues.
Many regional and local offices of the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) also organise camps for redressing of taxation-related grievances. Free legal aid is also provided in places for the same.