New scheme of filing of Income Tax Return for the financial year 2008-09 onward and the general problems which is being faced by the assessee and their consultants are narrated below :
1. Earlier i.e. up to the financial year 2007-08, the Income Tax Returns could also be filed electronically by those assesses (which are far more than those assesses who are compulsorily required to file their returns electronically ) too who were not required to do so. Most of the Chartered Accountants professions preferred to file such returns electronically than manually mainly because of the following reasons :
a. It is easy to file the return instantly without having digital signature which cost around Rs. 1200/-valid for 2 years only, which the small assessee does not like to pay .
b. After filing the return electronically, an e-acknowledgement in the form of ITR-V Form of only one page was generated which could be filed within 15 days at any local Income Tax Office whether on net work or not and an acknowledgment of filing of such ITR-V Form could be received immediately and the assesses felt relaxed of filing of his return and were happily submitting the same to various places wherever he wished e.g. bankers for loan proposal etc. BUT from the financial year 2008-09 the assessee will have to file the captioned Form ITR-V with the office of Income Tax Department situated at Banglore only and no where else and assesses will have to wait for the acknowledgment at least for 10-15 days and the assessee may not get such acknowledgment if the envelop is lost in postal transit and the assessee will have to again exercise the same procedure and may not feel relaxed till he receives the acknowledgment from the captioned Banglore office.Thus, in such circumstances the returns may be filed belated and consequently the assesses will be deprive of the benefits of timely filed returns and moreover the assessee may be panelized by Rs. 5000/- if he could file his return after relevant assessment year i.e. 31.3.2010 for the financial year 2008-09.
c. Had the assessee carrying a small business or his consultant preferred to file the return manually, in such case the return in Form No. 4 of around 20 pages would be filed with the local Income Tax Office and an acknowledgment of such filed returns will be received immediately.This procedure was also in force in past years also and is continued in the the present too which the assesses or their consultants would like to prefer because of the simplicity in the procedures over the new ones i.e. the acknowledgment of filed returns will be obtained immediately and there will not be any requirement of keeping track over the receipt of the Form ITR-V and thus the assesses could feel relaxed of filing of his return . Further,such assesses will now be free in submitting the acknowledged copy of income tax returns immediately wherever they wish to do so and feel relaxed. But so much of stationery will go waste and consequently the same will have a larger impact on Trees. The Ministry of finance has failed in visualizing the nation’s loss and causing difficulties to the tax payers and the consultants as well in implementing the such detrimental new rules of filing of Form ITR-V to the Banglore Office than the earlier local Income Tax Office.
d. Where the assessee file the Form ITR-V after the said period of 15 days, the date of filing of Form ITR-V was deemed to be the date of furnishing the return. But in new scheme though the time has been increased to 30 days but Where the assessee file the Form ITR-V after the said period of 30 days, it will be deemed that no return has been furnished and assessee will again be required to file his return and follow the same procedure till he receives the acknowledgement from the Banglore Office.
e. The worst situation in the new procedure of filing of Form ITR- V is, the assessee can not file directly this form to ITD Banglore. Form ITR-V is to be filed with post box and thereafter such post box shall deliver to ITD Banglore. Thus acknowledgement will only be issued through mail when the Form ITR -V is received by post box and post box delivers this form to ITD Banglore and the staff of ITD enters such ITR-V Forms in receipt register. When all the these steps are taken successfully then only the acknowledgement will be issued to the assesses . Any human error in these steps apart from postal loss in transit will cost the poor assessee with interest, penalty and withdrawal of power to revise the return.
f. If the returns are filed electronically, the data of returns will no more be required to be feeded by the inexperienced contractor or the the department’s employees which will not only save the money but will improve the efficiency of the Income Tax Department . Moreover, the processing of such returns could be done very fast resulting in to the quick refunds which in turn will save the interest burden and improve the image of the Government before the public at large. Further, the huge valuable stationery coupled with power consumptions by the computer & printers will also be saved which in turn our trees and power will be saved too.
Therfore, the Ministry of Finance should look in to matter seriously and the old scheme of filing of Form ITR-V to the local Income Tax Office must be brought back without loss of any further time.