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ARTICLE : Steps Taken to Improve Taxpayers’ Services
Tuesday, 29 May 2012 02:43


Steps Taken to Improve Taxpayers’ Services

The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), Ministry of Finance has taken the following numerous initiatives to improve taxpayers’ services:

  • E-filing of Income Tax returns/E-payment of Taxes - The e-filing of income tax returns, e-payment of taxes, ECS facility for electronic clearing of refunds directly in taxpayers’ bank accounts and electronic filing of TDS returns are now available throughout the country.  These measures have empowered taxpayers to meet their tax obligations without visiting an income tax office. During the financial year 2011-2012, the number of e-returns filed was 1.63 crores.

  • A new e-filing portal has been conceptualised by the Department in order to take the e-filing to next generation of e-services by including e-filing of all 92 Forms including ITRs and other web enabled services.  The New e-filing project will release more resources in the department to focus on post processing work. This would significantly aid in tackling tax evasion and curbing black economy. Proper data quality due to increased e-filing will help efficient mining and risk profiling and thus substantially increase number of tax payers.

The proposed E-filing contract has a taxpayer - centric design to provide services matching the best international practices, which would not only lower the compliance cost for the taxpayer, but dramatically improve the public image of the Department.

  • Refund Banker Scheme - Presently Refund Banker Scheme is in operation for all non-corporate charges in India.  The Scheme envisages issue of refunds to the taxpayers by the Refund Banker both through paper cheques as well as through ECS. During the financial year 2011-2012, almost 95% of total number of refunds have been issued through this Scheme.

  • Centralised Processing Centres - The Centralised Processing Centre at Bengaluru that was inaugurated during last year has stablised and is processing about 1 lakh returns daily.

  • A Centralised Processing Centre (TDS) is being set up at Ghaziabad and is expected to be made functional during the year. The CPC (TDS) would mark a major step in ensuring TDS compliance through processing of TDS statements with a focus on usage of technology driven end to end processes. Its main objective is to eliminate the TDS mismatch cases which are presently a matter of concern for the taxpayers in the proper claim of TDS credits.

The assessing officers will have access to MIS reports and Analytics in respect of the TDS defaults in TDS statements processed by CPC(TDS). It will enable robust TDS administration with a focus on compliance functions by the assessing officers in identified cases. Business Intelligence tools will be in place to provide vital inputs in framing TDS policy.

CPC(TDS) will be the backbone of CPC, Bengaluru where more than one crore Income Tax  Returns are poised to be processed and wherein it is not possible to claim credits of tax deducted/collected on the strength of physical TDS certificates.  It will enable faster processing of Income Tax returns and issuance of speedy refunds.

In short, CPC(TDS) will provide e-services with a focus on Deductors, Taxpayers and the Departmental Officers.

  • Aayakar Seva Kendras - The CBDT has aimed to redress all public grievances within a period of two months from its receipt. Aayakar Seva Kendra is a Single Window System for computerized registration of all taxpayers’ applications including the facility for filing paper income tax return. More than 50 Aayakar Seva Kendras are already functional and it is expected that more number of such Aayakar Seva Kendras shall be made operational during the year.

  • National Call Centre and Regional Call Centres - Another important initiative undertaken by the Department is the setting up of a robust National Call Centre at Gurgaon and Four Regional Call Centres at Jammu, Shillong, Jangipur and Kochi. At present, National Call Centre at Gurgaon as well as all the four Regional Call Centres are functioning.

  • The selection of scrutiny cases is being done through CASS. This reduces the discretion of assessing officers in scrutiny selection.

  • The taxpayers have been provided the facility of on- line Tax Credit Verification Statement (Form 26 AS).