Income Tax assessment of taxpayers through the online route has seen a rise of 78% over the last few years. The ambitious move has prompted the department to take the paperless assessment procedure to pan-India basis by the fiscal end.
As an attempt to curb chances of corruption, the government came up with the paperless initiative in October 2015 in select metro cities. The pilot project is currently being implemented in 7 cities that include Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Mumbai.
The blue print documented by the department in respect of e-assessment reveals that assessment through the online route has increased substantially. . "During the financial year 2015-16, a total of 1,014 cases were completed under the pilot project (e-assessment). The blue print which PTI had access to said, "The same was completed in approximately 14,000 cases during the 2016-17 fiscal. In this fiscal (2017-18), till July 31, assessment orders in around 4,100 such cases has been passed in the seven metro cities and e-assessments are pending in around 74,000 cases".
The blueprint further underlines that for cases which are selected for scrutiny for the FY 2017-18 and onwards, the department shall adopt the e-assessment facility on pan India basis. "Introduction of e-proceedings in time barring scrutiny cases is also contemplated," the blue print said.
"A lot of awareness has to be made so that the taxpayer knows that there is a new system in place", said a senior official who is part of the e-assessment project. The recent meet of top tax officials said that IT assessing officers "be encouraged to maximise e-assessment in a phased manner and to ensure that work be completed online so that there is complete transparency."
A lot of documents are to be submitted with the tax authorities before the case is finally processed by the department. For the online facility, a new link e-proceeding has been introduced in the personal login of the taxpayer on the government's e-filing website. But the proceeding is optional as of now, as the taxpayer on his discretion can decide on the assessment procedure.
With PTI Inputs