New Delhi, September 4, 2017

Centre to facilitate payment of levies through UPI, digital wallet, net banking

Taxpayers may soon have the option to use digital payment means such as UPI, digital wallets and internet banking to pay all their taxes. The move is a part of the government’s objective to boost digital payments.

The Central Board of Direct Taxes is working on a new app and portal called ‘My Pay’ that would facilitate managing all tax-related issues as well as payments through options apart from credit and debit cards and internet banking.

The facility will also be used by the Tax Department to communicate with taxpayers.

The Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) has also been asked to provide similar facilities to taxpayers to pay Customs duties and baggage duty allowance for digital payments other than through credit and debit card.

At present, payment of Customs duties above Rs.1 lakh is allowed electronically. The CBEC has been asked if this threshold can be reduced considerably.

Similarly, CBEC is also working on a pilot with State Bank of India for installing Point of Sale machines to pay baggage duty allowance at the Jaipur airport. It will look into extending the facility to 11 airports and tying up with other banks too.

The issues came up for discussion at a recent meeting at the Finance Ministry to review the action taken on the recommendations of the Watal Committee report on digital payments.

The committee, chaired by former Finance Secretary Ratan Watal, had submitted its report to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in December last year. It had suggested a roadmap to halve India’s cash-to-GDP ratio from 12 per cent to 6 per cent over the next three years by boosting digital payments.

Nodal ministries and departments have also been asked to ensure that all payments above Rs.5,000 are made digitally and not through cash or cheques.

Further, the Controller General of Accounts has been asked to consider whether digital payments and receipt requirements should be made a standard audit criteria during internal audit of ministries and departments.

[The Hindu Business Line]