2020 will not only be known by life which got affected by the virus – Covid but also by the biggest trial and error operation carried out on the taxpayers of the country.
When the income tax returns filing was supposed to be at its peak, the untimely launching of the biggest “trial & testing” operation of the income tax portal started. The issue of the new income tax portal has not yet been resolved and the trouble is still persisting. One can only pray for its early resolution.
The return-filing process has been further complicated by the fact that an altogether new portal as developed by Infosys for Rs. 4242 Cr is giving all the headache and trouble which one could even imagine. The problem has not yet been resolved and the trouble is turning out to be pathetic. Few of the trouble which every common taxpayers and tax professionals are facing could be as under:
Trouble in accessing the data of earlier years
Trouble in downloading of Form No. 26AS
Trouble in OTP for various validation
Trouble in uploading the details & attaching the files
Trouble in registering the DSC
Trouble in submitting the Audit report in Form No. 10B
Trouble in submitting the Tax Audit report in Form NO. 3CA / 3CB & 3CD
Trouble in registering the legal heir
Trouble in downloading the copy of the ITR after its filing
Trouble in e-services and other access in the features
Trouble in the filing of the returns
Trouble in getting the intimation u/s 143(1)(a) Intimation
Trouble in filing the rectification application u/s 154
Trouble in filing the uploading of Form No. 29B
Trouble in filing & OTP while uploading Form No. 10IE
AND SO ON & SO FORTH.
The press release issued by the CBDT says that more than 3 crore Income Tax Returns filed on the new e-Filing portal of the Income Tax Department till 3rd December 2021. With this, CBDT has appropriately appealed that all the taxpayers who are yet to file their ITRs for AY 2021- 22 to file at the earliest. Earlier filing is in the interest of all as a country. One cannot prolong the return filing as well as tax collection for long.
The data suggests that the number of ITRs filed per day is over 4 lakh and increasing everyday as the extended due date of 31st December 2021 is approaching. The data further suggests that around 94% of the taxpayers are individuals whereas 5% are firms and companies. Rest 1% is the other categories of the taxpayers which include AOP, Trusts, etc.
In short, the majority of the taxpayers will have the due dates of 31st December 2021 for filing their income tax returns.
Total income tax return filed in the last fiscal was around 6.70 Cr which may be reasonably presumed to be the figures of ITR to be filed in the current fiscal as well.
Considering the ratio of 94% for individual/HUF taxpayers, around filing of 6.33 Cr of this return of Individual/HUF will be required to be completed by 31st December 2021. Taking the figures of 3 Cr of returns already filed, there are around 3.33 Cr of returns which may be required to be filed from 3rd December 2021 to 31st December 2021. It works out to an average of 11.90 Lakh returns per day including all the Sundays & Holidays. Considering the present figure of ITR filing of around 4 Lakh returns per day, figure of 11.90 Lakh returns is almost three times the normal return filing.
Further, the new system of Annual Information Statement (AIS) & Tax information Summary (TIS) has further added to the new set of verification and compliances for the taxpayers. All these new features have made the task of verification and cross verification mandatory for the taxpayers. Again these new features have been added in the middle of the return filing season.
One may note that the process of returns filing starts with the collection of the data at the e-filing portal in the form of 26AS. This data was not available for a long and now the same is made available which is well coupled with all the trouble discussed above.
“One of the most complicated things to understand is income tax” and the filing of income tax return requires the taxpayers to seek the help of the tax advocates, tax consultants, accountants, etc. Getting their time and support within this short period would also be another trouble for the taxpayers.
To overcome this trouble, extension of date may be the only option. The timely extension of date will enable us to file the income tax return with due understanding of the portal. Date extension will give some relief to the taxpayers from the cumbersome changes in the procedures involved in filing the return.
Its true that the delaying the return filing date will delay the entire process of tax administration but its very much needed in view of the untimely launching of the portal and changes in
Considering the current statistics of 4 lakh returns per day, achieving the return filing of around 12 Lakh returns per day looks like an impossible task. There may be trouble in the new income tax portal also in handling such voluminous data. Only one prayer which could be there is –