At present, no online grievance handling mechanism is in existence to resolve the difficulties being faced by assessees relating to TDS or E-filing of income-tax returns. To enable the assessees to seek early resolution of their queries within a short span of time, it is suggested that an online portal may be created wherein the assessee can post his complain/query relating to his own returns and which are answered by the respective Assessing Officer. The system may have following features:
a) The query not replied within a specified period of time is escalated to higher authority say Assistant Commissioner, then to Deputy Commissioner and so on according to the hierarchy.
b) Once the issue is resolved the assessee should be allowed to reopen his query if he is not satisfied with the response received and has further submissions to make.
c) The assessee should be able to check the status of his grievance online.
d) SMS and email alert may be given at the time of receipt of grievance and at the time of disposal of grievance.
In this regard, we wish to mention that the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India is successfully operating an online grievance portal “E-Sahaayataa” to cater to the queries of approximately 10 Lakh students and 2 Lakh members. All the officials of the ICAI are mapped in the portal to ensure that all unanswered grievances are escalated to higher levels. Since the inception of this system in June 2010, ICAI has successfully answered approximately 98,000 queries.
It is suggested that an online grievance portal for speedy resolution of queries of assesses be created. If required, the ICAI would extend its full support in developing the said grievance portal.
Source- Pre-budget Memorandum 2014 on direct taxes by ICAI