The E-filling of return both under direct and indirect system is a big relief to the Tax payers and professionals who are working for and on behalf of the tax payers. E-filling of Income tax returns has made the life of Taxpayers and professionals very easy and refunds are coming very fast. The whole system is paperless hence it is a big saving of the National resources. The same can also be said for service tax and central excise. We can see that Indian Tax professionals are now working in very sophisticated atmosphere and days of going again and again to Government offices are almost over.
What is written here is one side of the picture. Let us have a look at the negative sides of the system in which our administrators are working. There is no time limit for introducing the returns to be e-filed. Let us take an example of ITRs for assessment year 2013-14 and we have only ITR -1 and ITR-4S (Introduced almost 45 days after beginning of the year) ready for the E-filling. The ITR-2 was introduced one or two days back. The Tax payers and professionals are still waiting for the rest of the returns. There was same story in the assessment year 2012-13. There may be problems for preparing and introducing the schema for ITRs and these problems were there last year also but the same is still not solved in the second year and this shows that how the system is working. The last dates of filling of returns are fixed and further the department is encouraging the Tax payers to maximize the use of E-filling facility then how the delay in introduction of schema of ITRs. If two months are wasted in introduction of returns ready for E-filling then how the tax payers will meet the deadline of last dates.
There should be a clarification from CBDT about the reasons of such a long delay for two consecutive assessment years. We are very fast developing IT nation then why the early preparations are not made so that the returns for E-filling are introduced within time. We have not seen any protest from any side in this matter and the originations and Institutes which are concerned with the matter are taking this delay as inevitable hence the administrators are also taking the matter very lightly.
The same story is applicable with service tax. The returns for the first 2 quarters of 2012-13 were introduced very late and after one or two extension of filling of date. The last date for filling of return for half year ending with 31st March 2013 is extended from 25th April 2013 to 31st. Aug 2013 but the declaration on the site is very clear that still the return is not ready. Let us see the relevant notification in this respect:-
In exercise of the powers conferred by sub-rule(4) of rule 7 of the Service Tax Rules, 1994, the Central Board of Excise & Customs hereby extends the date of submission of the Form ST-3, for the period from 1st October 2012 to 31st March 2013, from 25th April, 2013 to 31st August, 2013.
The circumstances of a special nature, which have given rise to this extension of time, are as follows:
“The Form ST-3, for the period from 1 st October 2012 to 31st March 2013, is expected to be available on ACES around 31st of July, 2013”.
See here the strange reason but there is no explanation why so much time is needed for introducing the return format. The story is the same both for direct and indirect tax and it seems that there is a shortage of expertise and that is the main reason for the delay and further nobody is asking for the reason hence “what is going on is going on”.
There should be a concern about the problem at top level and also there should be concrete protest at the level which is affecting by this delay and a clear action should be taken for the next year.
CA Sudhir Halakhandi – CA Abhas Halakhandi
“Halakhandi”, Laxmi Market, Beawar-305901(RAJ)
Cell- 9828067256, E-Mail – sudhir@halakhandi.Com