Dated: 23rd September 2017
Greetings for the day. Hope you are in Good Health.
For the first time in my life I have seen a Prime Minister who works 24*7 to address the problems being faced by the people of this country. I have great regard & respect for the dedication & commitment that your as Pradhan Sevak have shown in making our country walk the path of progress & development. Your untiring efforts have made this country overcome the challenges that it has been facing. Looking at your positive approach towards addressing common man’s concerns I am encouraged to write this letter to you. In this letter I wish to draw your attention to the problems the common man is facing in filing the Income Tax Returns off late. The issues that I have highlighted are the issues of taxpayers through the eyes of a practicing Chartered Accountant.
Sir, the people of this country are law abiding. They wish to comply with the provisions of law but not at the cost of mental peace. The technological innovations that the Income Tax department has achieved are noteworthy & I deeply appreciate it. This will go a long way in reducing corruption & ensuring transparency. However the pace with which the innovations & the up gradations are being implemented are not in pace with which the people of this country work. Today (22nd September 2017) the Income Tax department has asked for details of email id, mobile no & bank account from the taxpayers. The said data is to be updated on the efiling website of the Income Tax department failing which the taxpayer cannot gain access to the site. The department insists that a single email id & mobile no should be linked to three user id only. Sir, this is a rather harsh & cumbersome way of updating of the Income Tax dept database. In our society there are many people who still leave in joint families. A single person in family looks after all the law related issues. Being a practicing chartered accountant I am testimony to this fact. Thus this limit of three is very less. Also, Please try to understand that the people of this country though literate in educational terms are not technologically literate. There are people who still have no idea as to how to open an email account or how to check a message received on a mobile phone (especially the older generation). For these people to file their IT return becomes a challenging job. In my office I have clients who still do not have an email. I have to assist them to open an email account. Even in case where the email accounts are opened I have observed that the taxpayer forgets the password of the email account or the email id itself. India being a large country where we have 40 million taxpayers (approx) such cases are bound to be very high. The professional fraternity like CA’s can assist these taxpayers but only to a limited extent. It becomes very difficult to serve the taxpayers on a daily basis as far as these procedural issues are concerned. Also the taxpayers are of the impression that this is a futile exercise & they don’t want to understand the importance of the same. The taxpayers of this country have not woken up to the fact that the government department can have correspondence with them through email & mobile message. As such this defeats the purpose which the Income Tax department wants to achieve by undertaking this exercise. Sir we appreciate that this initiative of Income Tax department is progressive but first the department need to educate the taxpayer of its importance. If the department fails to do it then it shall be solely responsible in failing to achieve its objective of making the department more transparent & taxpayer friendly.
Secondly, the timing of this exercise by the IT department is not correct. The entire country is in a GST transition phase. Your Goodself must be aware that taxpayers are facing a lot of problems to file their GST returns due to inherent technical glitches in the system. Many of my clients are still not able to furnish the GST returns in time. Add to this now is also the time to file Tax Audit reports & the IT returns in case of assesses who are to get their books of account audited. The taxpayers who are mostly businessman are also busy in their day to day activity due to the onset of the festive season. As such, the chance of taxpayers responding to the call of the Income Tax department in this festive season is very low.
Thus we request you to ask the Income tax Department to postpone this activity as of now. Allow the taxpayers to adapt to GST environment & let them file their tax audits & IT returns in time. This procedural exercise can be done later. If not then at least don’t make it compulsory. There are still many taxpayers in this country who are yet to link their Aadhar number to PAN & bank
Hope you take this letter in a positive spirit & direct the authorities to take appropriate action.
CA.Kaustubh Vijay Paturkar
The Prime Minister
7, Lok Kalyan Marg,
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