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The income tax department has urged taxpayers to file their income tax returns for the financial year 2020-2021 at the earliest and said the performance of the new I-T portal has "substantially stabilised."

Yesterday, Infosys CEO echoed the same sentiment, saying the portal is seeing "steady progress" and taxpayers' concerns are being "progressively addressed".

He, however, did not mention by when will technical glitches be fully resolved and all functions on the portal will be available to tax filers.

Over 2 crore ITRs for the financial year 2020-21 have been filed so far, said the IT department. To make the process more easier, all ITRs have been made available for e-filing.

The new portal was launched on June 7 and in the initial period, taxpayers had reported glitches and difficulties in the functioning of the portal.

"More than two crore ITRs for AY 2021-22 have been filed on the portal, of which ITRs 1 and 4 constitute 86 per cent. It is encouraging to note that more than 1.70 crore returns have been e-verified, out of which 1.49 crore are through Aadhaar based OTP," the CBDT said in a statement.

The tax department has said that a number of technical issues have since been resolved and the performance of the portal has substantially stabilized.

"Over 13.44 crore unique taxpayers have logged in till 13 October, 2021. Approximately 54.70 lakh taxpayers have availed of ‘forgot password’ facility to obtain their passwords," it added.

The CBDT has issued refunds of over 84,781 crore to more than 59.51 lakh taxpayers from 1 April to 11 October. Of the total refunds, Income tax refunds of 22,214 crore have been issued and corporate tax refunds of 62,567 crore have been issued.

Filing an ITR early has many benefits for taxpayers. Even though the government has provided relief in timelines, there is no escape on the penalty for late filing of returns. Many taxpayers eventually pay interest for delay in return filing and payment of tax.

Apart from the interest on tax payable, missing the due date attracts late fee as well.

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