New Delhi, June 11, 2017

I-T department is looking to make the process easier for taxpayers

Replying to income tax (I-T) scrutiny notices with supporting documents will soon be just a click away.

Instead of having to make the rounds of the tax department with a sheaf of papers in response to notices received, taxpayers can soon upload them on the department's e-filing portal sitting in the comfort of one's own premises.

The I-T Department will very soon launch on its e- filing website a facility for uploading of information sought through scrutiny notices, a senior government official told PTI.

"This is part of our focus to reduce human interface and make the department more taxpayer friendly," he said, adding, "The facility to e-file the documents to scrutiny notices is being done to reduce interface between the assessing officer and the taxpayer."

Also, the tax department plans to soon start an SMS facility to communicate with taxpayers about any scrutiny notice sent to them.

"We will send SMS on the registered mobile number informing them to go to their account in the e-filing portal to see the new notice," the official said.

Once the facility is started, taxpayers will get an SMS alert of a new notice or information being raised by the tax department. The assessee can then log on to the e-filing portal and upload the documents that have been sought.

Currently, the department sends SMSes for informing taxpayers, especially the salaried class, about the tax deducted at source (TDS). Also, such alerts are sent on filing of tax returns and their acceptance.

As many as 3.65 crore individuals filed tax returns in assessment year 2014-15, while only one per cent of these are picked up for scrutiny. There are over 29 crore persons holding permanent account number (PAN).

Also, to avoid discretion to assessing officer, a computer-based programme picks up cases for scrutiny based on the risk parameters identified by the I-T department.

The I-T Department had earlier said that all tax-related proceedings between the assessee and the taxman from the new financial year will be conducted online. A new link called 'e-proceeding' has already been launched on the e-filing portal through which assessees reply to notices, questionnaire, or letter issued under various sections of the I-T Act.

[The Business Standard]