The World Wide Web has been making life easier for its users and the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has decided to levy the perks of the same. As a result of which tax payers now do not have to physically visit the Income Tax (IT) office to resolve their grievances related to refund, filing of returns, identification mismatch, among many others.
In an effort to enhance tax payers’ experience and bring down human interference in the proceedings of income tax filings, CBDT in its notification on Monday declared that all proceedings between an assessee and the Assessing Officer will be online with effect from 1 April 2017.
Digitising the process will not only ease the drudgery but also keep corruption on check.
Earlier, the tax payer had to visit the department office for issues like scrutiny and other formalities that the assessing officer wanted him/her to fulfill. The move also runs in close quarters with e-nivaran launched by the IT department last year to promote the paperless environment. While the latter is a one way process in which the aggrieved files his/her grievances, the former is a two way procedure for carrying out the exercise wherein the assessing officer can also contact the assessee.
A new hyperlink called ‘e-proceeding’ will be introduced shortly on the e-filing website of the department, which is used by taxpayers to file their Income Tax Returns (ITRs) at present.
“Upon closure or completion of any proceeding under this procedure, the final order, letter or document will be delivered to the assessee under e-proceeding tab in the e-filing website of the department. If need be, the same may also be delivered by post. In case the assessee opts for manual mode in the middle of e-proceedings on the e-filing website, further proceedings shall be conducted in manual mode,” explained the notification by CBDT.
The assessee in question will also be able to view the entire history of notices, questionnaires, letters, and orders on the e-filing website including his own responses under the new practice.
All such e-communication by the taxman to the taxpayer will bear the official email of the Assessing Officer with the email domain being ‘@incometax.gov.in’.
The new system of e-communication is however voluntary and a taxpayer is free to decide whether to conduct his dealings with the taxman over the e-system or through the existing procedure of manual submissions of documents by visiting the IT department office.
The move comes in the backdrop of the government trying to reduce tax evasiveness and widen its tax base.