Your ITR filing will soon get processed in just one day2 min read . Updated: 19 Jan 2019, 05:52 PM IST
- The government has cleared a 4,241 crore project to revamp ITR filing infrastructure
- Refund process will speed up with new infrastructure
New Delhi: Filing of income tax returns (ITRs) and issue of ITR refunds are set to get faster and smoother, with the Union Cabinet clearing a ₹ 4,241-crore project on Wednesday. The project, to be executed by Infosys Ltd, will add many features to the tax department’s ITR e-filing portal and offer comprehensive pre-filled tax return forms that tax payers could validate or modify.
Railway minister Piyush Goyal who briefed reporters after the cabinet meeting said the project will be completed over the next 18 months and will be commissioned after a three-month test. This will speed up income tax assessment and refund issuance, besides improving taxpayer experience while filing returns electronically, said the minister.
At present, it takes an average of 63 days to process an ITR, which will come down to just one day under the new system, the minister said. The move will also help collect more taxes.
The new ITR filing project has significant benefits for the department and taxpayers through various functionalities “such as pre-filling of income tax returns (ITR) and acceptance by taxpayer as a means to improve accuracy and to reduce refund/processing turnaround time drastically", according to a statement issued after the cabinet meeting.
A 4 December Mint report, quoting Central Board of Direct Taxes chairman Sushil Chandra, said that the tax department plans to introduce pre-filled ITR forms based on information already available with it. The move will promote voluntary tax compliance, according to the statement issued after the cabinet meeting.
Archit Gupta, founder and chief executive officer of ClearTax, a firm offering software products for tax compliance, said the move will benefit most of the tax payers as ITRs are now mostly filed online.
On Wednesday, the Narendra Modi government also decided to infuse ₹ 6,000 crore equity capital in the principal export credit agency Export Import Bank of India (Exim Bank) in two tranches through recapitalisation bonds. The move comes at a time the lending to exporters from commercial banks is drying up, prompting trade minister Suresh Prabhu to take up the issue with finance minister Arun Jaitley.
India’s merchandise exports remained flat at $27.93 billion in December on the back of rising global trade tensions while trade deficit narrowed to a 10-month low as imports growth entered negative territory.
In the first tranche of recapitalisation bonds, the government has planned to infuse ₹ 4,500 crore before the end of current financial year and ₹ 1,500 crore in financial year 2019-20.
The Union cabinet also cleared an increase in the authorized capital of Exim Bank from ₹10,000 crore to ₹20,000 crore. The Exim Bank primarily finances exports from India, including supporting overseas buyers.
The government also decided to raise the capacity of Numaligarh Refinery Ltd in Assam by three-fold to nine million metric tonnes a year (MMTPA) at a cost of ₹ 22,594 crore. The expansion, which involves setting up a crude oil pipeline from Paradip in Odisha to Numaligarh and a product pipeline from Numaligarh to Siliguri in West Bengal, is to be completed in four years.
“The project will meet the deficit of petroleum products in the northeast. It will also sustain the operations of all northeast refineries by augmenting their crude availability. It will generate direct and indirect employment in Assam," Goyal said.
Numaligarh Refinery will raise a debt of ₹ 15,102 crore for the project. Its promoters, Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd, Oil India Ltd, and the Assam government, will contribute to the equity.
Asit Ranjan Mishra contributed to this story