To improve the tax filing process, the Income Tax Department has done away with the excel and java-based utility and has launched a new offline JSON-based utility for the assessment year 2021-22. The new utility will help taxpayers import prefilled data and edit it before filing the income tax return (ITR). Let’s understand what the utility is all about and how you can file your ITR using the new utility.
> The taxpayers can download the pre-filled data from the income tax e-filing portal and fill in the rest of the data. The imported prefilled data can be edited to change basic information such as address and all.
> The permanent account number (PAN) can’t be changed. For that, you will have to edit the information on the e-filing portal and then again download the prefilled forms using the utility.
> Currently, the utility can be used to file ITR1 to ITR 4. The tax department has released a step-by step guide to use the utility.
> The facility to upload the income tax return (ITR) on the e-filing portal is not enabled as of now. You can fill and save the utility or export output JSON file on the system.
“As the tax department will be providing pre-filled data, JSON technology makes the process of extracting data from other sources a lot faster, hence the tax department has switched from Java utility to JSON utility, which is currently being used for filing GST returns. It can handle heavy data in a better way, thus help in avoiding any inconvenience to taxpayers,” said Sandeep Sehgal, Director -Tax and Regulatory, AKM Global, a consulting firm
The central board of direct taxes (CBDT) has been working incessantly to simplify procedures and to create a taxpayer-friendly tax regime. “The new utility is a user-friendly functionality for filing of returns and will afford greater ease to the taxpayers. The utility itself provides help in the form of FAQs, guidance notes, circulars and provisions of the law so as to enable hassle-free return filing. The Government’s efforts, to build a favourable tax regime for taxpayers cannot be disregarded. Augmenting simplicity and removing impediments will go a long way in increasing compliance and facilitating good governance,” said Neha Malhotra, Director, Nangia Andersen India.
Taxpayers shall be able to pay taxes, verify and upload the ITR through the utility itself, said Malhotra.