The old income tax portal, incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in, was shut for users from 1 to 6 June as the government worked on launching its new income tax filing portal, incometax.gov.in. The new portal was slated to go live on 7 June. Mint explains the changes:
What are the changes in the new portal?
The new system is supposed to rapidly process income tax returns (ITRs) and issue refunds. If it works as intended, it will be a vast improvement on the old system that sometimes took months. Its returns preparation software is supposed to work even for those with little knowledge of income tax, through a question answer system. The new portal is meant to have a centralized dashboard where the taxpayer can view all interactions, uploads and pending actions. Also planned are a call centre, video tutorials, chatbot and an app with the features of the desktop portal.
What are the changes to tax payment?
In the old system, tax was paid on the National Securities Depository Ltd (NSDL)-run website which would issue a challan number that had to be quoted in returns. In the new system, taxpayers will eventually be able to make payments on the tax filing website itself so that the amount immediately shows in the returns. The range of methods through which people can pay their taxes will also be expanded to cover debit cards, credit cards, net banking and the Unified Payments Interface (UPI). People will be able to pay from their accounts in any bank.
Was any relief given to hospitals and patients?
The government has allowed hospitals, nursing homes and covid-care centres to accept more than ₹2 lakh from patients from 1 April 2021 to 31 May 2021 provided PAN or Aadhar Card number of the payer is submitted. If the payment was made by someone else, details about their relationship with the patient is required.
Have filing dates been extended?
The last date for filing returns for individuals for FY21 has been extended from 31 July to 30 September 2021. However, if your tax liability exceeds ₹1 lakh, the deadline for paying tax (as opposed to return filing) remains 31 July. The deadline for filing revised or belated returns has been extended from 31 December 2021 to 31 January 2022. For taxpayers who have to get an audit done, the deadline has been extended from 31 October to 30 November. The deadline for employers to issue Form 16 is now 15 July.
Any other major changes this year?
Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman introduced the concept of ‘pre-filled returns’ in Budget 2021. Hence from FY21, the income tax department will automatically aggregate and display data on various types of incomes you have earned, such as interest, dividends, capital gains on stocks and mutual funds. This will allow you to see all the data in one place. If there is no big difference between the data gathered by the department and the taxpayer’s returns, the returns may also get processed faster.
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