The Income Tax Department announced through a statement a few days back that a new e-filing portal (www.incometax.gov.in) will be launched on June 7. The new portal replaces the existing one (www.incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in) and the IT department has promised taxpayer-friendliness, better software, interactive questions, and an overall seamless experience. As the authority that frames policy for the department, the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) will govern this e-filing process. “We are as excited about the new portal as our users! We are at the final stages in the roll-out of the new portal and it will be available shortly. We appreciate your patience as we work towards making it operational soon,” the IT department tweeted.
Apart from the new portal, a new tax payment system is also set to be launched on the 18th of June 2021 and a mobile app subsequently. The new system has certain changes in the Income Tax Return (ITR) Forms for the Assessment Year 2020-21 as well as in the dividend regime. Till the 18th of June 2021, taxpayers can get themselves familiarised with the new system on the portal amid this ‘huge transition’ in e-filing.
What are the changes brought in by the new portal?
The new portal has multiple payment options such as net banking, UPI, credit card, and RTGS/NEFT to ensure ease of payment. Along with a more modern experience and immediate processing of Income Tax Returns to issue quick refunds, the new system is set to be a positive change with various promising improvements. For example, free-of-cost ITR software has been brought in for Forms 1, 2, and 4. For the rest of the forms as well, the facility is expected to be extended very soon.
While the procedure for filing returns remains more or less the same as before, there is an important feature that has been included in the form of pre-filling of data. Details can be updated concerning salary, property, business, and the like in the portal which would then be used to pre-fill the ITRs. Necessary changes, if any, can then be made manually. This pre-filling option will be made available only after Tax Deducted at Source (TDS) statement and Statement of Financial Transaction (SFT) are uploaded with the due date having been fixed already at June 30, 2021.
Certain other changes have been brought in for user-friendliness
There have also been changes brought in to increase logistical ease. All interactions, uploads, and actions can be accessed by the user in a single dashboard. For ‘prompt response to queries’, taxpayers can make use of the new call centre. Other features such as FAQs, user manuals, video explanations, and a chatbot can also be made use of. Also, tax professionals can be added through functionalities and responses can be submitted to notices in faceless scrutiny or appeals. Secure and multiple login options have also been introduced to make the app and the site completely user-friendly.
The new portal – a step in the right direction?
As far as the statements of the Income Tax Department are concerned, the new e-filing portal seems like a step in the right direction. In today’s digital world, making things as simple to understand as possible is the need of the hour and that is exactly what this move seeks to achieve. It now depends on how swiftly and effectively all the changes are implemented. Certain features will be made available only later and considering the time delay in rolling out the portal, it remains to be seen if the new changes will be brought in quickly to ensure taxpayers get accustomed to them.
Having said that, the new portal is a beneficial move irrespective of how the implementation will be since there are a plethora of inclusions of features to make things taxpayer-friendly while there is no notable exclusion as such from the procedure that was in place previously.