In the era of age-old beliefs, online assessment is a step towards an advanced tomorrow. While the transformation from conventional practices is inevitable, introduction of e-assessment concept will impact the entire procedure and make assessments more taxpayer-friendly and transparent.
Concept of e-assessment was introduced earlier in 2016 on a pilot basis and further extended it to 102 cities in 2017. With the experience gained so far as per the statistics Finance Minister Arun Jaitley mentioned in his Budget speech for 2018-19 to extend the domain of e-assessment across the country. Greater efficiency and transparency can be achieved by widening the scope of e-assessment to reduce interface between the Income Tax Department (“Department”) and tax payers. Requisite amendments in the Income Tax Act (“Act”) to be made by the government thereby, facilitating the process of systematic and lucid online assessment.
E-assessment will revolutionize the age-old assessment procedure of the Department and the approach which they interface with taxpayers and other stakeholders. As per experts, lack of interaction between taxpayer and tax officer would lead to reduced chances of alleged corruption.
Presently, processing of income tax returns (“IT returns”) takes at least a few months. But the path breaking and technology-intensive project approved by the government will transform the Department into a more assessee friendly zone. IT returns will be processed in 24 hours and refunds furnished concurrently. Previously, 99.54% of IT returns were accepted as they were filed.
Resulting in the introduction of such a system direct tax collection for current fiscal exceeded the budgeted target by INR 50,000 crores to INR 12 lakh crores, while the mop-up has been pegged at INR 13.80 lakh crores for the financial year 2019-20. The government had originally budgeted to collect INR 11.50 lakh crores in current financial year from direct taxes, which include corporate tax and personal income tax.
As per the 2019-20 budget estimates, out of the INR 13.80 lakh crores of direct taxes, the government aims to raise INR 7.60 lakh crores from corporate tax as well as INR 6.20 lakh crores from income tax. This is higher than INR 6.71 lakh crores estimated to be collected from corporate tax and INR 5.29 lakh crores from income tax in the current fiscal ending March 2019.
Undertaking online assessments saves taxpayers a lot of time as well as money. Frequently the assessments can be executed in less time; multiple personnel can complete the assessment online within the same stipulated time. No need for specialized human resources, thereby cutting expenses of the taxpayers.
Nobody can judge the idea about whose time has come. In our opinion, the era for e-assessments is here and will stay. While the metamorphosis from age-old archaic practices is inevitable, this change cannot be at the periphery and needs to impact the entire process and make assessments more taxpayer-friendly and transparent. As long as this determination and commitment stays with both the government and taxpayers, the Indian tax ecosystem will be cruising ahead in its journey to autonomous success.
In case of any assistance regarding e-assessment or other compliance related issues, kindly click here