Money

New Income Tax e-Filing Portal: A leading or a limping solution

Probably, a dry run should have been carried out to iron out the discrepancies earlier than the portal may have gone reside.

The Indian authorities has been extolled for the various new initiatives on the digital entrance that has been launched encompassing numerous facets of the financial system. Digitalisation has taken the world by storm and India has additionally been within the forefront of introducing new digital measures throughout the financial system. This year’s Budget was additionally a digital price range. The authorities has additionally launched measures for all of the assessments as much as the Income-tax Appellate Tribunal (ITAT) degree, to be faceless.

This is being achieved with an goal to attain ease of compliance and cut back discretion. These measures are very humble and are certainly honest makes an attempt to extend the general effectivity of the operations and improve productiveness. However, they carry with it their very own set of challenges as digitalization is a change which can most likely face most resistance by a complete technology seeing themselves struggling to maintain tempo with the methods of working within the new walks of life.

To additional take forward the step of digitalization and to cut back the processing time for income-tax returns, the Income Tax Department launched a new e-filing portal on the seventh June this year. This initiative signifies the federal government’s resolve to embrace digitalization and reap its advantages in the long term particularly in the course of the making an attempt pandemic occasions. It could be a shock if such fast-paced measures usually are not met with their very own set of challenges and hurdles. The date 7 June appears to be synonymous with revolutionary developments within the sphere of taxation the world over because it was on this date 4 years in the past that India signed the Multilateral Instrument (MLI) in Paris whereas committing itself to the Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) measures initiated by the Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Co-incidentally, the Union Minister for Law & Justice, Communications and Electronics & IT, formally launched the e-filing portal of ITAT, ‘itat e-dwar’ a few days in the past. Hope has been expressed that with the mix of digital court docket room, digital hearings and ‘Mobile Application’ offering judicial info, paperless courts will quickly be a actuality in ITAT. Only time will inform if that might certainly be a fruitful actuality.

Since its launch on the seventh June, there have been quite a few glitches/points within the functioning of the brand new portal. The Ministry of Finance invited options on such glitches/points from numerous stakeholders. As per sources, the Ministry acquired greater than 2000 points and illustration factors from numerous stakeholders. To deal with these points, a meeting was held on the twenty second June amongst the Finance Ministry, the seller and numerous stakeholders.

While the problems have already been introduced up on the dialogue desk, some imminent ones could go on to indicate the gravity of the state of affairs and the measures that will now be wanted to set proper the state of affairs. For instance, to begin with, the entry to 1’s personal account within the income-tax portal has itself been a problem witnessed by many for the project to be a non-starter. In some circumstances, newly integrated firms/ corporations and so forth. have been unable to get the first-time registration completed on the portal.

This could impression the opposite industrial facets which might be depending on having a distinctive identification quantity for taxation functions. In many circumstances, senior residents, whose revenue particulars allow them to file the income-tax returns a lot forward of the schedule, had been additionally denied the permission to add the income-tax return on the portal. This could put a pressure on the portal when all of the taxpayers flood the system to entry it for adhering for compliances. Even the brand new utility viz. the Json utility shouldn’t be correctly practical, leading to denying the taxpayers to file their income-tax returns.

There are quite a few such points, huge and small, the place every situation must be addressed in probably the most immaculate and detailed method. The points have been taken up earnestly and makes an attempt are being made to resolve them with timelines in place.

A Press Release was issued by the federal government not too long ago, whereby it was said that work has commenced to repair the technical points seen within the functioning of the portal and resources have been augmented for execution of the project on {hardware} and application aspect, the place some points have already been recognized and glued. Further, it was additionally said that sure points in regard to e-proceedings, Form 15CA/15CB, Tax Deducted at Source (TDS) statements, Digital Signature Certificate (DSC), viewing of previous Income-tax returns and so forth. are anticipated to be resolved quickly.

One can anticipate that it might take a while for the finer nuances to be addressed and examined earlier than implementing them to make sure a hassle-free portal. With this, one can anticipate addressing the aforesaid bottlenecks, another larger technical glitches may have extra time and testing to ascertain the veracity of the functions and error-free operation.

Way ahead

For greater than a year, we’ve witnessed a fully new way of life which was by no means imagined, significantly the digital methods of doing issues not solely within the sphere of tax legal guidelines however spanning throughout all walks of life chopping throughout borders. On the Indian demographic entrance, the place we’re nonetheless struggling to return out of the second wave, a question arises as as to whether the brand new income-tax e-filing portal was actually the necessity of the hour contemplating the continued system has already integrated many adjustments in the previous few years.

Without prejudice to the above, ideally, when a new system of a huge magnitude (just like the income-tax portal) is launched, some inherent checks have to be in place to make sure a seamless functioning. ‘Operational efficacy’ is the stepping-stone of any new system on the premise of which the success of the system can then be ascertained. For this, an ‘exhaustive testing’ producing correct output is a protocol which must be adhered to earlier than the system goes reside. Probably, a dry run should have been carried out to iron out the discrepancies earlier than the portal may have gone reside. Even now, a dry run could be superb to check the efficacy of the brand new portal.

Secondly, taking into consideration that the brand new system would have teething issues which any new system is prone to have, it might by no means be misplaced for the federal government to have each the previous and the brand new programs run parallel to make sure that compliance shouldn’t be being compromised together with a smoother transition to superior compliance programs.

In hindsight, even when the brand new portal is operational with 100 per cent effectivity, the previous portal ought to be in use for a few months for the taxpayers in order that a gradual and a seamless transitioning would assist obtain the specified aims of the federal government of ease of compliance and a discount in a discretionary manner of functioning.

(By Sanjiv Okay. Chaudhary, Chartered Accountant)

Disclaimer: These are the personal views of the writer.

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