The Income Tax Department of India launched a new electronic tax filing portal developed by Infosys in June this year. The new portal is said to be more user-friendly and will make it easier to file income taxes. The portal is said to reduce the processing time for tax returns and make refunds faster. The portal started glitching just a couple of hours after its launch. Let us look into the problems being faced in operating the new portal.
Issues Faced In Relation To The New Income Tax Portal
The new portal is riddled with all sorts of problems. These include:
1. The portal is very slow to operate.
2. To register on the portal, the taxpayer has to verify himself/herself with the OTP received on his/her contact number. Since the OTP cannot be received for overseas numbers, filing taxes for non-residents who live overseas becomes difficult.
3. All the data necessary for filing taxes is not available on the portal as the migration process appears to be incomplete.
4. Newly incorporated firms or businesses are unable to register.
5. The account on the portal becomes locked after the second unsuccessful attempt.
6. Even though the portal displays certain actions as incomplete if the user tries to complete them, he/she is unable to do so.
7. Any grievances raised on the portal get deleted automatically without being addressed.
8. It is difficult to verify the income tax returns that have been filed previously.
9. Challan numbers are not auto-updated.
10. An error message is frequently displayed while using the portal.
11. Adjournments cannot be sought by taxpayers on the portal as the due date is not updated.
12. The taxpayer is unable to file responses to defective notices on the portal.
13. The “e-Proceedings” function is yet to become operational on the portal.
14. When a Hindu Undivided Family (HUF) tries to file returns on the new portal and is being verified, it displays an error message saying “Return is being filed by the representative assessee but the PAN quoted in the representative assessee’s field is not the same as the PAN who is trying to upload the return.”
15. No drop-down options appear for exemptions under Section 10 of the Income Tax Act in the case of income from other sources.
16. An error is displayed while furnishing ITR-1, 2 and 4.
17. E-verification is required while submitting an ITR, but a lot of issues occur during this verification process.
18. Returns that have already been processed previously still appear as underway on the portal.
19. There is no choice for rectification under section 154 on the portal.
20. MAT provisions are being attributed to companies even when they opt for the New Tax Regime under section 115 BAA.
21. The user on the portal is not able to download intimations for any year from the portal.
22. Even though the facility of trust registration is present on the portal, it is still not prudently accessible.
23. Certain forms under the “Vivad Se Vishwas Scheme” are not visible on the portal.
Presently, it has been reported that 90% of the issues with the new portal have been resolved. Infosys has indicated that the remaining 10% of the issues will also be resolved. Of all the income tax returns filed till October, 55% of those had been filed using the new portal. It is not the first time a government portal has been riddled with problems. The GSTN project faced a huge number of fallouts with the laws and regulations in place. It is essential that before any new interface for any service is launched, the government should test its functionality. This will be helpful in avoiding such large-scale issues and will not cause inconvenience to the public.