The government intends to process income tax returns within twenty-four hours and issue refunds simultaneously.
The income tax (I-T) department is likely to introduce features in its processes viz., team-based assessment, video-conferencing and electronic review of orders, to ensure hassle-free quality assessments, said a report by the Businessline.
The move is in sync with Budget announcements for 2019-20, and aimed to lessen harassment of taxpayers during verification and scrutiny of income-tax returns.
“The idea is to eliminate physical interface of the taxpayer with the income tax official, which is where the harassment begins. We plan to launch electronic allocation, verification and hearings and also e-review of orders,” a senior income tax official was quoted as saying by the Businessline.
The next step will be to set up central record keeping at the Centralised Processing Centre of the Income Tax Department in Bengaluru, along with re-engineered processes, said the report.
The official said record keeping mechanism will provide strong back office with no public contact, which will also help strengthen the functionings of the Assessing Officer.
With automation, any tax official of any region will take up the case from any region, and there will be no pressure to act or pay up on either of the two.
This will also mitigate unnecessary litigation. The final order will be reviewed by a team of experts before it is released to the assessee.
Finance Minister Piyush Goyal had, in the Interim Budget 2019-20, said within the next two years, almost all verification and assessment of returns selected for scrutiny will be done electronically through anonymised back office, manned by tax experts and officials, without any personal interface between taxpayers and tax officers.
The I-T department now functions online. Returns, assessments, refunds and queries are all undertaken online. Last year, 99.54 per cent of the income-tax returns were accepted as they were filed.
The government now intends to process income tax returns within twenty-four hours and issue refunds simultaneously.