Government of India is implementing digitization at a rapid pace in the field of Direct Taxes. In the process a new Income Tax Portal was launched on 6th of June, 2021 with an intention to improve the functioning of income tax portal and to facilitate and ease the filing of Income Tax Returns and various forms under Income Tax Act and to E-File the TDS/TCS returns by the assessee. In addition to this the new portal was also intended to improve the functioning in respect of filing of appeal, various assessment and appellate proceedings. The new assessment and appellate procedure is now faceless to reduce the human interface.
It is surprising that even after 3 months of launching of the new portal the same is not functioning properly. It shows that the launching of the new portal was a hasty step and was not put to trail before throwing it open for the assesses and tax practitioners. It is giving sleepless nights to the tax professionals and the assessees are compelled to put on hold their important compliances giving rise to financial losses. Honorable Delhi High Court observed in the course of Judgment that “the public at large should be asked to use the software after it has been tested prior in time on a sufficiently large sample base of assessee” (Krishna Aggarwal Vs. PCIT Dt. 27/08/2021.)
The Income Tax Practitioners and the assesses at large are feeling harassed due to ill-functioning of the portal. The common glitches faced by the tax practitioners are as under:-
a) All the returns and forms are not enabled.
b) Digital signatures are not working.
c) There is no system of e-verification after submitting the return.
d) Acknowledgement downloading fails on submitting of return through Aadhar EVC.
e) Form 10IE (opting for new alternate tax system) is not being uploaded.
f) Error in submitting returns having rental income in case of co-owners.
g) Rectification request functionality is not available.
h) Delay in linking AADHAR and PAN
i) UIDAI (AADHAR) website is not working.
j) Grievances if raised are not answered.
k) The assessees are forced to pay penal interest under various sections for no fault on their part.
l) Pre validation of bank accounts of the merged public sector banks not functional.
There are various other difficulties faced by the assessee while submitting the Income Tax Returns and other forms.
When asked from a software provider for the estimated time of proper functioning of the portal and tentative extension of due date of filing the I.T Returns, he said it in a lighten tone it will be 31st of March for sue but the year is not sure whether it will be 31/03/22 or 31/03/23.
A beautiful poem was written by a renowned Advocate and author Dr. Rakesh Gupta (Ex-ITAT Member) on the sick portal which is reproduced as under: –
“मैं बीमार हूँ”
मैं इंकमटैक्स का पोर्टल हूँ
काफ़ी समय से ‘चोटिल’ हूँ
इनफ़ोसिस मुझे बना रहा है
किस किसको ‘बना’ रहा है
लेकिन मैं अभी तक अस्वस्थ हूँ
नहीं हर पा रहा मैं आपके कष्ट हूँ
अच्छा खासा मैं हुआ करता था
चटपट काम मैं किया करता था
सब लोग तो मुझसे प्रसन्न थे
मेरे आका भी मुझसे न खिन्न थे
फिर मुझे पता नहीं क्या हुआ
मुझको बीमार घोषित किया
और मैं भी क्या बीमार हुआ
चहुं ओर हाहाचीत्कार हुआ
क्या वकील और क्या सीए
बाबू अफ़सर वो एमएबीए
सुबह शाम बिन चाय पीये
तकते रहत मेरी राह प्रिये
बिन मेरे कामकाज ठप्प है
वर्तमान चौपट अंधेरा घुप्प है
मैं कब तक ठीक होऊँगा
कामकाज में शरीक होऊँगा
अब पड़े पड़े मन नहीं लगता क्या
इनफ़ोसिस को ‘टाटा’ करते नहीं बनता?!
Replies to various representations by the associations and tax bodies made to the Finance Ministry and CBDT are still awaited. The Honorable Finance Minister has asked the I.T. giant Infosys to remove the glitches by 15th of Sept, 2021. It seems to be a distant dream. The tax practitioners and their staff is working hard to submit the returns and during the process are wasting time, energy and man hours. It is prayed that either the old portal may be made functional or glitches be removed at the earliest.