Archive for the ‘Surveyors’ Category

Animal Rehabilitation At The Hoedspruit Cheetah Project

Monday, July 16th, 2018

Submitted by: Mark Bottell

Now you can learn about cheetahs and help their conservation by volunteering your time at the Hoedspruit Cheetah Project in South Africa. The Hoedspruit Cheetah Project is part of an education facility, breeding centre and hospital for the rehabilitation of animals that have been orphaned or injured.

A hundred years ago, you could find cheetahs running wild across the majority of Africa and areas of Asia. Now their numbers have dwindled and are confined mostly to protected areas. The wild population has reduced by half since the 1970s, which has made them vulnerable to extinction, so the rehabilitation of these animals and the rejuvenation of their numbers has become critical.

This is where the Hoedspruit Cheetah Project, based at the Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre in South Africa, comes in. Their efforts include campaigning for the security of the cheetah territory, the breeding and rearing of cheetahs in captivity, and the education of the local communities and the conservation volunteers who visit the projects. Conservation volunteering at Hoedspruit is an active and rewarding pursuit that brings you into close contact with cheetahs, their cubs and a number of other animals in rehabilitation or breeding projects.

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Part of the Hoedspruit Cheetah Project’s mission is to teach about how man has affected the cheetah’s natural habitat. This means visiting schools and encouraging the pupils to understand the problem. Life is difficult for the cheetah in the competitive environment of the wild. They have to contend with predators such as lions, leopards and hyenas, as well as the threat of rival cheetahs roaming into their territory. Cheetahs must endure the ongoing struggle of hunting for food while protecting vulnerable cubs and the species must also face the narrowing of their territory by human influence.

Cheetahs need wide areas of land to hunt their prey; they prefer flat land where they can take advantage of their immense speed. The availability of such open space has reduced because of the spread of people and farm land, and the cheetahs are sometimes considered as pests by ranchers who want to protect their farm animals from predators.

In South Africa, when cheetahs are found injured or orphaned either from an encounter with lions or with man, they are brought to the Hoedspruit Cheetah Project. This is a place where students on conservation volunteering courses can witness and assist in an animal’s rehabilitation, helping to bring animals back to their full strength and confidence before their careful reintroduction into the wild.

A similar process takes place with cheetahs and other animals that are bred at the centre. The Hoedspruit Cheetah Project makes it their task to maintain healthy cheetah populations in the wild by crossbreeding from different territories to ensure a healthy genetic mix.

Animal rehabilitation and rearing is a slow, gradual process that requires care and attention. Those volunteering help the conservation of the cheetahs by taking part in their daily care and the upkeep of their enclosures at the centre. This involves feeding the animals, holding them, assisting the vet with procedures, and even capturing animals in the park. It is an enjoyable and hands-on experience where learning and participation are central. If you want to get close to these beautiful and vulnerable animals, find out more about Hoedspruit and conservation volunteering.

About the Author: Mark Bottell is the General Manager for Worldwide Experience, an online tour operator offering extended breaks upon which you can participate in

animal rehabilitation

, and other conservation volunteering gap years for grown-ups.


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Ombudsman Can Resolve Your Income Tax Issues

Monday, December 25th, 2017

Ombudsman Can Resolve Your Income Tax Issues


CA A. K. Jain

To resolve Income Tax related tax issues of the taxpayers, the Government has created office of Income-Tax Ombudsman . The officer designated as Ombudsman hold independent jurisdiction and work as autonomous authority.

The Government has so far set up twelve offices of Ombudsmen. They are stationed in Mumbai, Pune, New Delhi, Ahmedabad, Chennai, Bangalore, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Kanpur, Chandigarh, Bhopal and Kochi.

The jurisdiction of the ombudsman is highly restricted; however, they can help the taxpayers in resolving issues such as

(i) Income Tax Refunds matters.

(ii) Refusal to acknowledge letters / communications sent to the department.

(iii) Erroneous demand matters / assets attachments causing harassment to assessee.

(iv) Scrutiny selection procedures and failure to communicate reasons thereof.

(v) Cases related to interest waiver, rectification applications, appeal effects etc.

(vi) Release of books of accounts and asset after the completion of the proceedings.

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(vii) Issues relating to refusal to allot Permanent Account Number.

(viii) Tax credits and adjustment relating to TDS.

(ix) Conduct of proceedings beyond working hours at the IT offices.

(x) Impolite behavior of the officials.

(xi) Matters concerning circulars of Central Board of Direct taxes about the Income Tax administration.

However, the ombudsman will not interfere in the proceedings if the issue requested to be settled is already under an appeal, revision, reference or writ.

Application to Ombudsman The Ombudsman reconciles disputes / issues between the department and assessee. The decision of Ombudsman is referred as Award . The application to resolve an issue can be filed by the aggrieved assessee himself or through his representative. The application should be signed by the taxpayer or his legal representative bearing the name, address and permanent account number of the complainant. The application should also state the details of the official against whom the complaint is filed. The reasons for the application of complaint should also be mentioned therein. The necessary documentary evidence can also be submitted along with the application. The application must contain the details about the date on which the assessee first complained to the income-tax authorities and its result. The application can be filed through personal submission / post / E-Mail. E-Mail complaints can be signed at the time of proceedings in the office of Ombudsman.

As a prerequisite, the applicant must first prefer compliant to higher authorities of the official being complained. The assessee must wait for at least 30 days for the action of the superiors before approaching the office of Ombudsman. Assessee should also restrain from filing compliant which is frivolous or vexatious.

The complaint should be filed within one year from the date of the reply of the department to his representation. If no reply is received, it should be filed within thirteen months from the date of representation to the Income Tax Authority.

On receipt of the complaint, the Ombudsman will send a copy of the same to the concerned officials and try to reconcile the issues through mutual understanding of both the parties. If amicable settlement is not working then, Ombudsman can pass a decision called Award . The award should be in line with the documents available on record and the tax laws. The Ombudsman can also instruct the concerned officials to release payments and also to apologize to the taxpayer. Ombudsman can also award monetary compensation upto Rs. 1,000.00. The Income-Tax authorities are given one month s time for the implementation of the award.

The compensation amount which is subject to a maximum of Rs. 1,000.00 is paid by the Income tax department out of the budget allotted.

The decision pronounced by the Ombudsman should be accepted by the I-T department. However, to comply the order, complainant must send his acceptance to the order within 15 days of the receipt of the award letter. Otherwise, the award shall lapse and be of no effect.

The ombudsman keeps record of various taxpayer problems. The information is periodically submitted to the Central Board of Direct Taxes and the Finance Ministry. Ombudsman also reports to the CBDT about the officials found to have defaulted in their regular duties.

Details of Ombudsman offices

1. Delhi: 011, Room No 251, Central Revenue Building, I.P. Estate, New Delhi-110002, E-Mail:

2. Kanpur: 0512 (U.P&Uttarakhand), 110/25-26, 80 Feet Rd., Kanpur, E-Mail:

3. Kolkata: 033, Aayakar Bhawan, P-7, Chowringhee Square,Kolkata-700069, E-Mail:

4. Mumbai: 022., 115, Mittal Tower, B-Wing Nariman Point, Mumbai-400021, E-Mail:

5. Kochi: 0484, Income Tax Ombudsman, 7th Floor, Kera Bhavan, SRV H.S. Rd., Cochin-682011, E-Mail:

6. Hyderabad: 040, Room No. 819, Aayakar Bhawan, Basheer Bagh, Hyderabad-4, E-Mail:

7. Chennai: 044, Income Tax Ombudsman, R.No. 317/319,3rd Floor, Aayakar Bhawan, 121, Mahatma Gandhi Road, Nungambakkam, Chennai-34, E-Mail:

8. Bangalore: 080, 4th Floor, A Wing,Kenderiya Sadan,Koramangala, Bangalore-34, E-Mail:

9. Ahmedabad: 079, Room No. 104, 1st Floor, Nature View Bldg.,Ashram Road, Ahmedabad-380009, E-Mail:

10. Pune: 020, Aayakar Bhawan, 12, Sadhu Vaswani Road, Pune 411 001, E-Mail:

11. Chandigarh: 0172, C.R. Building, 3rd Floor,Sector 17E, Chandigarh, E-Mail:

12. Bhopal: 0755, E-7/511, Income Tax Guest House, Areara Colony, Bhopal-16, E-Mail:

The Author, CA A. K. Jain, can be contacted at, 21, Skipper House, 9, Pusa Road, New Delhi 110005, Mobile No. 98-100-46108, E-Mail:

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Ombudsman Can Resolve Your Income Tax Issues