Relief for Tax Payers – What is more, the income tax department would attain the lofty ideal of providing paperless services all the way that would be great relief for the tax payers.
In 2010, 5 million income tax returns were filed online in India. In 2014, 34 million tax returns were e-filed. That’s roughly a 7x jump in 5 years. While e-filing was electronic, there had always been a “paper” verification, where tax payers would have to sign and send a one page ITR-V by post to Bangalore. With 25 percent of tax payers omitting this paper step, and the other 75 percent expressing a lot of grief while getting this step done, the Income Tax Department had been working away on various strategies to phase out this paper based-step.
Phasing out the ITR-V step required a lot of innovation by the IT Department. Tax payers after filing can now e-verify themselves instead of signing a physical piece of paper. The IT department devised two clever mechanisms. The first was using Aadhaar. The tax department usage is possibly the largest use case of the Aadhaar system, where, if the taxpayer has linked their PAN number to Aadhaar, then they can e-verify this via a one-time password.
The second method used by IT Department was riding on netbanking. The IT Department tied up with all major national banks net banking systems. In this tie-up, taxpayers can login to the IT Department website to e-verify using the bank’s netbanking credentials.
Now, Greater relief is in store for the taxpayers. Ms. Anita Kapur, Chairman of CBDT, in an interview to PTI warmed the cockles of income-tax payers in this country by unveiling a plan rendering personal appearances, hardcopies and snail mails redundant. Frosty, forbidding and frightening tax notices would be a thing of past with user friendly emails replacing them. The one receiving an email seeking clarifications can give reply from the comfort of his home with digital documents being attached where needed. The bottom line would be there would be no interface between tax officials and taxpayers.
What is more, the income tax department would attain the lofty ideal of providing paperless services all the way that would be great relief for the tax payers.
It is not as if the taxpayer can completely do away with the services of chartered accountants for vicarious appearances before the tax authorities given the complexity of tax matters especially if one has business income and capital gains, but they can be engaged for the limited purposes of going through the emails from the department and preparing draft reply and the related documentation. This will reduce their fees considerably as they charge separately for each appearance thus developing a vested interest in vicarious personal appearances before the tax authorities.
Source : First Post