The Income-tax department’s ‘Project Insight’ (or deep dive data analytics) seems to be paying dividends. Over the past few weeks, Zenobia Aunty has got several emails from readers lamenting that they have to pay more Income-tax (I-T).
The common refrain is: “But, we have never got such an intimation earlier!” Shock is expressed on how honest salaried Taxpayers are now being doubted of their integrity and the big fish swim away.
Zenobia Aunty, is showing no empathy. She thinks, in the absence of data analytics quite a few of these readers, did get away in the past – most owing to sheer ignorance or lethargy.
She noticed that in several cases, taxpayers had failed to disclose their bank interest income. “No, the bank does not deduct TDS from your interest earned on your saving bank accounts; Yes, if above Rs. 10,000 in the aggregate, it is taxable (the limit is higher for senior citizens),” – Zenobia Aunty is tired of repeating herself.
Another common mistake was not declaring notional rent on the second house property, as it was locked up. While this provision truly calls for an amendment, as of now you do need to pay the tax!
Pre-filled I-T returns, will go a long way in ensuring that each taxpayer, big or small, pays the right amount of I-T upfront and does not have to cringe later on receiving an intimation from the I-T officials.
News reports point out that the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) is working on such forms, based on the TDS details available. However, ideally, it should go a step ahead and capture data such as savings bank interest, on which TDS has not been deducted.
California had launched a pilot project, as regards pre-filled I-T returns. However, it hasn’t really moved forward. Australia, is perhaps the most recent country to have introduced the concept.
To begin with, pre-filled I-T returns should start as a pilot, in a few cities, available to taxpayers who opt for the same. There must be a mechanism to enable correction of data inputted by the I-T department, provided it is backed up with evidence. Lastly, for the system to truly take off, we do need a robust online platform. At present, taxpayers are tired of the e-filing portals, crashing time and again (especially close to due dates).
DISCLAIMER : Views expressed above are the author’s own.
via TOI Blog
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