Mumbai, December 26: The year 2019 saw the Income Tax (I-T) Department taking a slew of pro-taxpayer measures in order to safeguard their interest, and also streamline the entire Income Tax Return (ITR) filing exercise. There are around 7 crore taxpayers in India majority of them opts for the hassle-free and time-saving online ITR filing process. With an aim to increase the number of taxpayers, the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) implemented the following new rules.
Before this scheme was introduced, the I-T Department had been receiving grievances with respect to personal appearances at the income tax offices. For scrutiny of the income tax filed, officials would issue notices to taxpayers asking them to appear before them. The e-assessment scheme seeks to scrap physical interaction between official and taxpayer. This scheme which is also called faceless e-assessment keeps the identity of the taxpayer and the official under wraps.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman declared PAN-Aadhaar interchangeability scheme in the Union Budget 2019. As per the scheme, an Aadhaar card holder can quote his or her unique 12-digit number in place of the 10-digit alpha numeric Permanent Account Number (PAN). This scheme was rolled out from September 1, 2019. It was reported that the taxpayer could quote Aadhaar number in place of PAN in more than 100 forms. The scheme was started to benefit small taxpayers as well as senior citizens who do not have PAN card but fall under Tax Deducted at Source (TDS) rules. With this scheme in place, the taxpayers can now fill Form 15G and Form 15H using their Aadhaar number.
This instant or e-PAN service was started to issue an Aadhaar based PAN card to the taxpayers. With this facility, taxpayers can get digital PAN free of cost. The allotment of instant e-PAN which is like issuing urgent passport removes waiting period.
Smooth ITR e-filing
The income tax department this year ensured that more number of people filed their ITR using the e-filing website. To achieve this, the department put in place a foolproof system for online filing of ITR. As per the I-T department, record 5 million taxpayers filed ITR on August 31, 2019, which was the last day. Throughout the tax filing period, the e-filing website did not crash unlike during previous years.
Document Identification Number
This was yet another step taken by the income tax department to safeguard ITR filers. For this, the CBDT asked tax authorities to compulsorily quote Document Identification Number (DIN) in every communication they have with the taxpayers. The DIN removes the possibility and chances of fraud as the taxpayers can check the authenticity of any letter from I-T department by logging on e-filing website.