The Income Tax department has made history with a quantum jump in the e-filing of Income–Tax Returns (ITRs) with an all time high record of 49 lakh 29 thousand and 121 ITRs filed in a single day on 31st August 2019. This has perhaps created a history as the tax administration nowhere in the world has achieved such huge online e-filing ITRs in a single day and that too so smoothly; with the IT department actively interacting with taxpayers on social media to help them resolve their grievances and e-filing related queries and getting accolades in return.
The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) today releasing the data on e-filing of ITRs for which last date of submission was 31st August 2019 said that this is a remarkable achievement as taxpayers are experiencing a whole new facet of the I-T department which is not only taxpayers’ friendly but also is of a facilitator providing informational assistance with the pre-filled forms and hand holding e-filers besides being proactively responsive on social media to help and guide taxpayers.
CBDT said that setting new records in e-filing on 31st Aug 2019, the peak filing rate per second was at 196 ITRs and peak filing rate per minute was at 7447 ITRs while peak filing rate per hour was at 3,87,571 ITRs. The Information Security team of IT department thwarted over 2205 malicious attacks on the website aimed at disrupting services in the peak period.
CBDT said that as per the data, at TRACES there were 42,75,913 – 26AS views on 31st Aug 2019 as compared to highest of 29,94,406 of last year, i.e., almost 43% increase as compared to last year peak views.
CBDT said that out of the 5.65 Cr ITRs filed so far, 3.61 Cr ITRs have been verified. A large number of taxpayers about 2.86 Cr (79%) have opted for e-verification, mostly using Aadhaar OTP. The I-T Department intends to carry out campaigns to increase awareness about e-verification of ITRs where verification is still pending.
CBDT further said that taxpayers’ grievances on e-Nivaran, email and on call centre were responded immediately with a turnaround time for twitter being 4 hrs on queries related to e-filing. CBDT also issued two circulars to clarify issues raised by taxpayers, ensuring that taxpayer anxieties were allayed. Social media using Twitter was effectively used to counter fake messages regarding extension of date apart from responding to taxpayers’ queries. Taxpayers would also be educated about the need for linking their bank account with PAN to ensure direct credit of refund to taxpayer bank account through ECS and the requirement for linking PAN with Aadhaar by 30th September 2019. The department was able to effectively counter all perceptions about speed and performance of the website.
Taxpayers appreciated the pre-filled ITRs and mentioned the quickness of filling the ITR in their tweets.
According to CBDT, from the last week of July, the twitter handle of the Income Tax Department, @Income Tax India was integrated to a landing page to obtain details of taxpayers having last minute grievances. A back end team comprising of helpdesk resources from CPC ITR, E-filing, CPC TDS, PAN, Directorate of Systems was assembled to provide responses within 24 hrs. The activeness of I-T department on social media and its responsiveness was widely appreciated as given below in some of the tweets: