Aaykar Setu app makes understanding taxes easy
One of the objectives of the government’s Digital India initiative is to reach out to people by using smartphone penetration to their advantage. Various mobile apps such as MyGov, Online Registration System, Digi locker and ePathshala, were introduced by different government agencies to provide services and information.
Now Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), a department within the ministry of finance, has come up with an app called Aaykar Setu to help users carry out basic tax-related tasks on their own.
The term Aayakar means income tax and Setu stands for bridge.
Like most government apps, it is free to use and doesn’t carry annoying ads.
However, it is currently available only for Android users and can be downloaded from the Google Play Store.
The primary objective of the app is to help users understand the various nuances of direct taxes, file income tax, apply for PAN (Permanent Account Number), check TDS (tax deducted at source) statement, and even share grievances with the right authorities. There is a live chat option, which will be available to users from 10am to 6pm and will answer all tax-related queries.
For filing complaints with the tax department, there is a section called ‘Got a problem’, where users can register their grievances. It also allows users to contact officials in CBDT or Directorate of Income Tax
Users can receive timely notifications for important dates and new announcements related to income tax, by registering their mobile number in the app.
One of the key highlights of the app is that it allows users to link their 12-digit Aadhaar number with PAN. Following the SC ruling on 9 June, linking Aadhaar to PAN is mandatory for all existing Aadhaar card holders.
To make understanding taxes more fun and easy, the developer has added a quiz game called Tax Gyaan. It is designed to test users’ knowledge about taxes through multiple choice questions.
Simple layout, but needs improvement
One of the plus points of the app is that it doesn’t ask users to sign up or create an account. It has also been designed better than many government apps. The interface shows the various categories, such as Tax tools, Pan/TAN, TDS, Tax Payment, in a series of cards lined up in two columns. The homepage has been tailored for the small screen. However, in many of the sections, users are redirected to Webpages outside the app. These webpages are not customised for small screens and require frequent zoom-in for a better look at a line or a tab.
It works online, but due to its simple layout, pages load faster even on 3G networks.