The finance minister promised to make filing of tax even simpler in his budget speech on Monday. “We are taking major steps in simplifying and placing the administrative procedures concerning taxation, trade and tariffs, and social transfers on electronic interface, free of discretion and bureaucratic delays,” Pranab Mukherjee said.
Now:Currently, you don’t need to go to an income-tax office to file your taxes. You can file your returns online, also know as e-filing of taxes, through various websites, including that of the income-tax department. That’s not all; e-payment of taxes can be done through 32 agency banks. There is an electronic clearance service facility that deposit the tax refund directly into your bank account. Also, there is a system in place that allows tax deducted at source returns to be filed electronically.
Way ahead: The finance minister promises to improve the current system even further.
“Going forward, the taxpayer will get a much better interface than what is currently available,” said Ankur Sharma, founder of TaxSpanner.com, an online tax portal.
Currently, there is just one centralized processing centre at Bangalore, which has a daily capacity of 150,000 returns for the year 2010-11. The finance minister plans to add two such centres, one at Manesar and another in Pune, by May and a fourth in Kolkata later this year. The addition of the centres will hasten the process of getting acknowledgements on filing returns.
That’s not all. “E-filing of tax returns is currently available for taxpayers,” said Rajesh Srinivasan, senior director at Deloitte India. “Going forward, taxpayers can track their refund and its status online as well. This is a good step forward and taxpayers will be highly benefited.”
The Central Board of Direct Taxes will provide a separate Web-based facility that will be a direct stand-alone interface with the income-tax department. This will let you report and track the status of refunds online.
You will also get to know about the credit amount for taxes that you may have prepaid.
So, going forward, expect to have enhanced taxpayer services with filing of taxes getting simpler and faster, and knowing status of your tax refunds getting easier.