Chartered Accountants Association, Surat has written a letter to Chairman of Central Board of Direct Taxes and demanded for Timely release of Income Tax Return Utilities and Stopping of Panic Messaging. They also demanded that A suitable and adequate time compensation be provided for the amount of stakeholder’s time lost due to infrastructure failure, so that the ready to upload returns could be filed. Full text of their letter is as follows:-

Chartered Accountants Association, Surat

Ref: CAAS/Representations/2021-22/01 Date: 01/04/2021

To,
The Chairman,
Central Board of Direct Taxes,
Ministry of Finance,
Government of India,
New Delhi

Sub: Timely release of Utilities and Stopping of Panic Messaging

Respected Sir,

Your goodself may be already aware of Chartered Accountants Association, Surat (CAAS), which works for ensuring best practices in tax compliances vis-à-vis providing a better working condition for our members, Chartered Accountants, their staff members and the industry (“the Stakeholders”).

As a part of our endeavor to provide better working condition for the Stakeholders, we hereby represent the following:

1. Timely release of Utilities:

It is known fact that the stakeholders intending to file Income Tax Return on punctual basis are prevented from discharging their onerous duty due to delayed availability of the Utility Software provided by Income Tax Department either in the form of Excel, Java or Web based facilities. Empirical data shows that the Utility Softwares are released much late after keeping the stakeholders on a wait. Even after releasing it late these Utility Softwares are modified multiple times rendering the work done by the stakeholders useless.

Details of Changes in ITR Utilities

As can be seen from the above infographic, very less time is made available to the stakeholders to comply. Even within the limited time, the schema of the utility softwares are modified multiple times.

While providing of Utility software is also a key responsibility of the department, a look at the following data is highly advisable:

Percent returns filed using Utility provided by Department

As per above data on an average 47.42% returns are filed using Utility Software provided by the department, which implies that 52.58% returns are filed using third party softwares, based on schemas released by the department. Both, set of return filing highly rely on the timely release of schemas.

However, it is pertinent to note that Schema is a mere skeleton of the database storing the IT Return’s data. Providing of Schema does not liberate the Government of its onerous duty to provide humanly fillable forms (either Physical or digitally).

The above data should also be an eye-opener, indicating whether the Government is focusing more on Schema, instead of user friendly Utility Softwares. Is it for the appeasement of the Software Companies.?

Demand:

It is not that the stakeholders are lethargic or rushing for last minute filing. It is not a fad amongst the stakeholders to ask for extension of due dates every time, but it is due to the shorter compliance period available to their hands. Thus, a planned release of utility softwares is imperative for timely compliance of tax laws. The Statutory Forms should be notified in the previous year itself, which would enable releasing the Utility Softwares on or before 15t day or at the most 15t week of the Assessment Year.

2. Stopping of Panic Messaging:

Vide our letter dt.26/01/2021, we had demanded to Stop Bombarding of unidentifiable emails & SMS after office hours. Similar requests were also made by 270 Trade, Industries and Professional Associations in their agitation dt.29/01/2021. However, still numerous unidentifiable emails and SMS with masked PAN are bombarded by the department by the CPC in the evening after office hours, at night, midnight, in the early morning and even on public holidays, on the registered email and phone numbers. This time pertaining to Sensitive / High Value Transaction. We would like to draw the attention of the Ministry with regards to the E-mail /messages received from the income tax department with regards to information titled as “High Value Transaction” reflected in compliance portal with a decisive remark that the assesse have Some High Value transactions which does not appear to be in line with the income tax Return filed for FY 2019-20. Please revise ITR/Submit online response on compliance portal.

Such decisive remarks are creating panic amongst taxpayers and most of tax professionals are getting endless enquires from assessees on vacation days like Sunday and Holi festivals which is observed all over India. We, appreciate the efforts of the department to bring revolutionary technological advancement and use of artificial intelligence in the processing of the information but bombarding of such types of email and SMS are creating havoc amongst the assessees especially at the fag end of the year. Such notices continue to be delivered even after the end of the assessment year, when it is not even possible to revise the return and regularize the inconsistency, if any.

It is also observed that most of such notices are either related to sale of properties or interest income. There may be hundreds of reasons for variation in the returned income and information in both the income heads but language of the notice is suggesting that something grave mistake or serious lapses has been found by the department and spoiling the cordial relationship of tax professionals and assessee. Irony of the matter is further aggravated by the fact that compliance portal is not working on the very first working day after two days holiday. Issuance and timing of such notices itself is a matter of great discussion in light of the fact that department have powers to issue notices u/s 143(1) and 139(9).

Demand

Emails requiring the assessee to take any action or responding on to the portal should be made only during working hours and at no other time. It is also a matter requiring a viability/success study that how such mega e-campaigns can become successful compared to the loss of man hours and agony of assesse and tax professionals.

3. Time Compensation:

It was observed that during the last days at the end of the financial year, the Income Tax Portal, uptime whereof is the responsibility of the Government, was infact down. Various ready to upload income tax returns and forms having deadlines falling on or before 31″ March 2021 could not be uploaded due to the stakeholder’s inability to upload on a down server. These situations are always beyond the control of the stakeholders.

Demand:

A suitable and adequate time compensation be provided for the amount of stakeholder’s time lost due to infrastructure failure, so that the ready to upload returns could be filed.

We hope the above recommendation, suggestion and criticism would be helpful to your good self. Do take positive actions on our demand.

Thanks & Regards,

Chartered Accountants Association, Surat.

President | Secretary

Copy to: –
(1) Finance Minister, 134, North Block, New Delhi – 110011 – for suitable action

Download Letter requesting Timely release of Utilities and Stopping of Panic Messaging

More Under Income Tax

14 Comments

  1. CA.PRABHAKAR G says:

    The way the website worked on 31st was , as if it is pushing you towards payment of penalty of Rs.10000 without any option. Who should be punished for this by way of penalty. They are not satisfied with lakhs of crores collecting through taxes, but more satisfied by way of penalties.

  2. C S Dutt says:

    The department should encourage the assessees to comply with the provisions of the Act
    While doing so the assessees and tax professionals suffered a lot on 31-3-2021 due to technical trouble
    It should be considered by the department

  3. CA Sharad P Joshi says:

    Its a good attempt but will be a futile attempt. The government has no faith in ca . from many instances it is proved that govt. Wish full control over ca’s and thus destroy the institute . Future is dark. Such attitude towards professionals is not seen any where in world

  4. Swaroop Bv says:

    When websites like facebook, instagram can withstand tons of data that are being uploaded why are our government portals still so weak??

  5. Rajesh Kamath says:

    Filing return is made so burdenful that assesses whole year is lost in 1.getting interest certificate from bank.2.awaiting for IT portal to open 3.filing return online which is a nightmare and haunting.. bcoz of no use software 4.waiting for refund like a dog 5.Bombardment of emails and SMS…so when to earn income? Dear IT department pls earn income for me so that I can pay income tax..

  6. MD.SHAHEEN PERWEZ says:

    THE MOST JUDGING DEMAND MADE BY THE CA ASSOCIATION TO THE CBDT. I WOULD ALSO LIKE TO ADD ANOTHER DEMAND OF MAKING MORE THE WEBSITE ANDTHE NET MORE SUSCEPTIBLE TO VAST AMOUNT OF DATA COMMUNICATION, SO THAT THE FILING WORKS ON THE DUE DATES COULD NOT BE HAMPERED.
    M.S. PERWEZ.CA FINAL STUDENT AND PRACTICING UNDER CA PRADEEP KUMAR JHUNJHUNWALA AND RP SAH, BHAGALPUR

  7. Anjaneyulu Kvr says:

    The income tax efiling server is totally down on 31 st March.Even after having waited till 10.00pm in the night we could not upload XML files after e payment. Pity the Professional brothers. It must allow at least the ready to file returns on the next one/ two days after expiry of 31st since it’s a system failure.
    One thing what we couldn’t understand is that though the Govt is charging heafty penalty of Rs.10000/ u/ S 234F for delay why should there be a blockage? U allow with the delay penalty since the Govt is further getting income?
    Foolish ideas & crazy decisions by mindless administration.🙏🙏

  8. Tiru Narayan says:

    Not only the CBDT must upgrade the infrastructure it should also improve pertinent planning matters. It beyond reasonableness that so many schema changes are done in the middle of the tax year. So many changes means the IT planners, developers, testers, and implementers don’t develop a well-formulated plan.

    Will this change??? I am not going to hold my breathe on it.

  9. ANTONY KUNDUKULAM says:

    NO ‘RAKSHA’ CAN BE ANTICIPATED FROM THE AUTHORITIES. BECAUSE THE RULERS ARE NOT AFFECTED BY COVID-19 OR ANY OTHER SUCH SITUATIONS WHICH THE PROFESSIONALS ARE BEING AFFECTED. RULERS GET THEIR SALARY AND ALLOWANCES WITHOUT ANY HINDRANCE. ALMOST ALL MICRO AND SMALL ENTERPRISES WILL DISAPPEAR FROM INDIA VERY SOON DUE TO COMPLIANCE BURDEN. RULERS WILL BE HAPPY !

    1. GANDHI MOHAN BHARATI says:

      Even if they are affecte3d by Covid-19 they do not care. With brute Majority they have very little time for the difficulties of common man and particularly poor. I have a case in hand where a stupid company deducted 17/- Rupees in 2017 as TDS of an individual who has received a communication for non-filers threatening dire consequences including imprisonment. The poor old man’s only savings is Rs.5,000/- and the stupid company did a TDS of 17/- on interest paid. That’s our administrators – THE GREAT COMPUTER WHICH REQUIRES “NO SIGNATURE”

  10. GANDHI MOHAN BHARATI says:

    Government should give a mandatory 90 days time for filing ITR after the last date of filing utility softwaare. I request CAs to take up a case for Statutory amendment to the law instead of adhoc arrangements. If the Government is strict AND PENALISES FOR DEFAULT IT IS NATURAL JUSTICE THAT THEASSESSEES ARE GIVEN ADEQUATE TIME; THEY SHOUD NOT SUFFER FOR THE DELAYS ATTRIBUTABLE TO GIVERNMENT

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