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Some taxpayers are getting SMS or email from tax department. Know why


Income tax department has been sending SMSes and emails to taxpayers to file their income tax return (ITR) for financial year 2018-19. This is in those cases where an individual hasn’t filed ITR, and the data with the tax department shows potential tax liability due to some high-value transactions.

Also, those who filed return and did a high-value transaction in FY2018-19 but the same did not reflect in their ITR, are also getting queries from the tax department through SMSes or emails.

“Some of our clients and other people who have got such communications from the tax department over the past 15-20 days have approached us. Most of them have received communication regarding the non-filing of ITR,” said Swar Pathak, a Ludhiana-based chartered accountant.

This is a part of the e-campaign on voluntary compliance started by the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) from July 2020.

“CBDT had launched a targeted campaign for taxpayers, who have either not filed their ITR for FY2018-19 or information reported by them in their ITR for said FY did not match with information received by the department from other means, such as tax deducted at source (TDS) or tax collected at source (TCS) returns of payers or collectors, specified financial transaction statements filed by specified persons, foreign remittance forms, GST returns and high-value transactions tracked by data matrices,” said Shailesh Kumar, partner at Nangia & Co LLP.

Under the e-campaign, the tax department was supposed to send specific messages, e-mails, or other communications to taxpayers, sharing the information available with tax authorities and asking them to file or revise their ITR for FY2018-19.

“Since the extended last date for filing ITRs for FY2018-19 i.e. 30 September is approaching soon, these text messages sent by the tax authorities asking NRIs or other taxpayers to file their ITR for FY2018-19 appears to be part of the same campaign,” said Kumar.

What you should do

If you have received such communication from the tax department, you will have to respond to it in a timely manner. If a taxpayer has received any such message or e-mail, he or she must revisit his financial transactions undertaken during relevant FY2018-19, match it with the ITR filed and if required, file a belated or revised ITR correctly declaring all the transactions.

“If there is no such transaction to be reported or there is no need to file or re-file the ITR, then an appropriate written response should be filed by the taxpayer with tax authorities in response to the message or notice received by him,” said Kumar.

To facilitate taxpayers, the tax department has created a ‘Compliance’ tab under the account of taxpayers on the income tax return filing portal. The taxpayer can log in to ‘My Account’ using your his or her Permanent Account Number (PAN) as a login Id and password and go to the ‘Compliance portal’ under the compliance tab. Here, the taxpayer can see the communications received from the tax department.

The taxpayer can see the queries raised regarding the high-value transactions as well and provide online responses selecting either of the options—information is not fully correct, information related to other person or year, information, information is duplicate and included in other displayed income or information is denied.

The taxpayer is not required to visit the income tax office regarding the same.

Taxpayers who don’t reply to these queries or file ITR within the deadline may get a notice from the tax department, said Kumar.

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