Pre-filled Income Tax Return Forms

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Pre-filled Income Tax Return Forms by Next Year, Refunds to be Processed in a Day

Any tax paying citizen is well informed about the tax regime of the nation. The processing of disbursing the income tax return forms is famed to be a cumbersome process in a country like India. Needless to say, any tax paying citizen is more than familiar with the travails of the bureaucratic red tape. In tune with the current government’s line, the country is apparently on a path of a technological revolution. Accordingly, a host of measures have been taken up in order to facilitate quicker and more transparent execution of administrative duties, income tax return forms being just one of them.

Already, Indian is a country which is set to leave China far behind at least in terms of population dynamics, if not anything else. Besides, the number of taxpayers is set to grow by the year 2020. Consequently, it has become absolutely necessary to introduce better and crisper forms of administrative tools in order to tackle the surge of applicants, particularly in the field of income tax. Hence the new technological perspective the income tax return forms are introduced.

Infosys takes up reins

For any compliant tax paying citizen, the following points need to be kept in mind in accordance with the latest rules concerned with the faster dispatch and processing of income tax return forms.

  • According to sources, the popular IT giant, Infosys, is set to take up the new income tax forms filing system. Very similar to the transformation of the traditional passport centers across the country, the IT outlet is expected to streamline the process in order to better capacitate the new system of income tax return forms.
  • As is well known to any compliant taxpayer of the country, earlier the entire income tax refunds were not issued until one made it through a cumbersome security apparatus which took not less than two months of time. With the new system, the time is set to be reduced to just one day.
  • In accordance with the new system of income tax return forms, the money is set to be credited directly in the bank account of the concerned taxpayer as is the case with any digital transaction.  
  • In the new system, the taxpayer is required to do precious little. The income tax forms will be filled beforehand with the essential credentials in place, such as Permanent Account Number, name of the taxpayer, etc.
  • Apart from that, the salary and the tax deduction columns in the income tax forms will also be mentioned leaving the user to only edit the columns in accordance with the income.
  • While the new system of income tax return forms is still around a year away, latest sources expect it to be rolled out partially this year in order to fix any possible glitches.
  • Apart from the fact that one needs a better and quicker system to tackle a surging population of taxpayers, the apparent motive behind the new apparatus of the income tax forms is also to ensure easier taxation and a more transparent and tax conscious regime.

Cashless Market, Faceless Tax

The finance ministry has reiterated the concept of a cashless market. Especially post demonetization, which has apparently come under attacks from nearly every side, the present dispensation has been gearing the common citizenry towards an era of radical digitized transactions in each and every field. While the enterprise of income tax return forms has come under the purview of both experts and opposition alike, the target is yet to be achieved keeping in mind the largely rural population of the country.

Against the backdrop of modified income tax return forms, in tune with the concept of cashless economy, the digitization of the taxation enterprise has brought about the concept of faceless taxation and income tax forms. According to industry experts, the digitized enterprise of taxation which is set to be ushered by next year eliminates the perfunctory need of the taxpayer to face the taxman. Pre-filled income tax forms shall ensure everything transpires in the comfort of home and the least intrusion of red tape shall confirm the transparency and privacy of individual tax assessments.

According to sources, around two lakh income tax assessment procedures were safely carried out through online means last year. Apart from that, the recent budget set aside a large chunk for the apparently digital enterprise of the income tax echelons. According to experts, the biggest advantage of pre-filled income tax return forms lies in their automated credibility which saves a lot of time and energy.

Recent corruption and tax evasion charges hurled against the government have supposedly played a part in sensitizing the dispensation towards bettering the prospects of income tax forms in a crucial election year. At the same time, the logic of income tax forms disbursement improving proportionally with the digitization of the system has also come under attack. While theoretically, it seems a propitious venture, it remains to be seen how it comes off in the field.

The Faceless Procedure

As mentioned earlier, a major chunk of the tax-paying population is still outside the scope of the new income tax return procedure. Consequently, people have sought to know the possible contours of the new system of income tax return forms in order to better comprehend the enterprise.

While the supposed procedure has not entirely been clarified, sources have hinted at the possible mechanism. According to experts, the income tax officials are set to take up what is being called two-part facilitation when dealing with the income tax return form.

First and foremost, the income tax department will conduct a preliminary verification before proceeding to assess the income tax forms. While the department verifies, potential issues, if any, will be sent to the concerned taxpayer in his or her email and asked to be sorted out. After the second round of examination by the back office, the issue will be closed until further inquiry.  

At the same time, it is important to keep in mind that irrespective of the nature and intimacy of the official scrutiny the verification of the income tax return forms will be carried out in a completely faceless manner. Irrespective of the elaboration of the method will be executed in a completely digital manner. However, it is imperative to keep in mind that personal attendance might be required only in cases where tax evasion charges are apparently grave and must be addressed in person.

Are the Prospects Good?

After the announcement of the digital scheme of the income tax forms, experts from both sides have opined in different ways. For instance, while speed is certainly a plus in such ventures, many worry if it would affect the skewed nature of tax compliance. As mentioned earlier as well, the reformed income tax forms venture seems theoretically novel, transposing it on the ground seems to be a rather herculean task.

Naturally, the opposition has been seething over the so-called digitization of each and every aspect of the bureaucratic backbone of the country. Many worries whether the prospects of the faceless tax assessment in relation to the income tax forms will eventually turn around to prompt the munchkins of crony capitalism which has been one of the central points of contention with the present dispensation, especially after the scandalous revelation of tax evaders supposedly close to the echelons of the government.

At the same time, it is equally crucial to note that that the apparent anonymity while dealing with the income tax forms of a particular taxpayer might actually hint at better prospects. Also, automation is expected to ensure compliance in precisely this aspect. However, given the size of the population in a country like India, experts have worried about the ability of the government to reach each and every nook with the income tax return forms. What is more, many wonder if the said target could be achieved in so less time.

So far as the opposition is concerned, it has voiced its concerns regarding publicity gimmick in a vital election year. Comparing it with the so-called cashless economy which has largely been a limited venture irrespective of what the official's harp, the opposition has set forth an all-round attack against the government in regard of the prospects of the faceless taxation as well. However, it still remains to be seen whether the prospects of the income tax return forms turn out well or not.

Conclusion

Taxation is one of the central aspects of any government. Accordingly, leaders after leaders hailing from disparate parties and antagonistic ideologies have stressed on the significance of disciplined tax compliance towards the State in order for each and every citizen to participate in the development of the country. At the same time it is also equally true that no matter what the dispensation, tax evasion continues to bug the largely compliant citizenry. Consequently, economic inequality is apparently one of the biggest and gravest issues of the modern market.

While the common citizenry remains largely compliant, tax assessment modifications, time and again, have aimed at improving the compliance ratio of the same people. Corporate has largely been deliberately left out in order to buy their favor in major outreach programs by the government and of course for election and publicity funding. Consequently, the perils of inequality have come to haunt the imagination of the common man.

Whether the newly introduced income tax return forms turn out well still remains to be seen. As opinions seem to be divided between both factions, the prospects of such a scheme of income tax forms still remain hazy. However, it may be unanimously acknowledged that a crucial election year is set to spume forth more!

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