The tax department looks set to make return filing an easier process for users. Towards this endeavour, the Income Tax Department is moving to a new taxpayer friendly e-filing portal.
Set to become operational from today, the new portal, in the words of the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), “will provide taxpayers convenience and a modern, seamless experience."
For a vast majority of taxpayers, especially by those who do not have income from multiple sources, this is a welcome move. It would lower the need for running around to collect documents or approaching specialists while filing returns.
Here's what the new income-tax portal offers.
Faster processing of returns and refunds
Despite improvements in the income tax return (ITR) processing system, it still takes a few weeks to even months for refunds to get credited in tax payers’ bank accounts. The new system would be integrated with the ITR processing unit and hence will ensure issuance of quick refunds to taxpayers.
“It is expected that the filed ITRs would travel faster to the central processing centre and intimations would be received by taxpayers sooner and consequently refunds would be generated sooner,” says Vivek Jalan, partner, Tax Connect Advisory Services LLP.
The new portal will have a user-friendly dashboard that will display all interactions, uploads and pending actions to be acted upon by the taxpayers. It will remind the taxpayers about the necessary compliances, thus prompting them to complete the pending tasks and remain on the right side of the law.Simplified ITR preparation software
It will also have an ITR preparation software, which will be available online as well as offline to every taxpayer. The software will be loaded with interactive questions to help taxpayers without any knowledge of taxation fill and file the income-tax return forms. “Pre-filled tax returns based on data from past years and from other sources along with detailed instructions that could assist taxpayers in filling the form without much hassles, could be seen in the new portal,” says Sandeep Jhunjhunwala , Partner, Nangia Andersen LLP.Free real-time assistance
There will also be a call centre to assist taxpayers. In addition, the taxpayers will have access to tutorial videos, chatbot/live agent and FAQs. They will have expert advice on various aspects of taxation free of cost. Jhunjhunwala says that “enabling honest taxpayers to independently manage their tax-filing and related procedures would motivate individuals and small businesses to fulfil their compliance obligations.”
Jalan adds that the interactive question and answer system would enable even salaried taxpayers to file their tax returns themselves without much need for data entry.
In a bid to further ease the process for new generation technology savvy taxpayers, the department has promised to make available key portal functions on a mobile App.New online tax payment options
The new portal will also provide multiple options such as net banking, UPI, credit card and RTGS/NEFT from any account of the taxpayer in any bank for payment of taxes. There would be no need to stand in queues in specified branches of banks to deposit tax.The new income tax portal looks promising. But it remains to be seen if the portal is as easy to use and functions as efficiently as the income-tax department claims it will.