DIGITALIZED I-T DEPARTMENT
As the digital revolution is swiftly taking its pace, it’s important for every sector to imbibe the technological roots in their working.
The income tax department in such support to Digital India movement has taken steps for electronically improved online infrastructure.
One such recent step taken is the soon to be conducted inquiries by I-T Department via video conferencing.
Finance minister Piyush Goyal in the Interim Budget had announced that almost all verification and assessment of returns selected for scrutiny will be done electronically through “anonymised” back office, which will be manned by tax experts and officials without any personal interface between the taxpayers and tax officers. The full fledged system is expected to start within a couple of years and trials are already on, the officials said.
Speaking at a post-Budget interaction, Ramesh Krishnamurthi, IT commissioner (systems), said the interaction via video conferencing will be followed by a quality review of the case, before coming to a conclusion. Moreover, there will be verification prior to the scrutiny of an assessee, in any case.
According to Krishnamurthi, in the new process, the verification, inquiry, review and all other functions are planned to be done by a different set of teams. Also, a centralized review of an appellate order will take place so that the department does not unnecessarily waste time on cases that are not required to be taken further.
The development comes as the government, since past couple of years, has been working on putting across a system in the I-T department, which will leave a visible trail of what work is pending in the I-T department with whom, where, and for how long. “The dynamic allocation of cases would be skill-based, location-based, etc,” Krishnamurthi said.
The “anonymised” interaction with income tax (I-T) department, which was announced by the government in the recent Interim Budget, is being designed to allow the taxpayer to present her/his case through video conferencing, in case of an inquiry.
This will not only help in saving precious time of the taxpayer, but also eliminate the contact between the taxpayer and the income-tax official, thereby reducing chances of corruption.