In 2019, Infosys was given the contract to develop a new generation income tax e-filing portal to drastically reduce the returns and speedy issue of refunds.
The income tax department launched a new e-filing portal on 7th June 2021. Since the launch, the users have been facing numerous issues in the functioning of the new portal, including the issue in logging in to the new portal, weak user interface, problems in OTP generation for Aadhaar, non-availability of previous years ITRs, inability to view old demand and intimation orders on the portal.
The income tax department was flooded with grievances from the users after the launch of the new portal. Post which, our finance minister had tweeted flagging the concerns to the IT giant, Infosys.
The finance ministry had issued circular inviting queries and concerns of the new e-filing portal from various stakeholders. The department had scheduled a meeting with the representatives of Infosys and multiple stakeholders on 22nd June 2021. The meeting was held to understand the vendor’s concerns in response to the issues faced by the users and address remedies for them on priority.
As a response to the circular, the income tax department received over 700 e-mails that contained 2000 issues, out of which 90 points were unique and to be addressed on priority. Tax consultants had raised issues on the technical and performance problems of the portal; also, the users faced issues due to missing data of previous years to be migrated from the old portal. In addition, the tax consultants had to submit physical documents to the department due to technical glitches instead of online submission.
Representatives of various stakeholders like our Finance Minister-Sri. Nirmala Sitharaman, Minister of State of Finance-Mr Anurag Thakur, CBDT chairman-Mr Jagannath Mohapatra, attended the meet. Also, he was accompanied by tax professionals, including representatives of ICAI and the All India Federation of Tax Practitioners (AIFTP). The meet was also attended by the CEO of Infosys, Mr Salil Parekh, and COO Mr Pravin Rao and other officials who took note of the issues the department put forth.
The officials informed that the company is working to fix these issues; they are also working on executing the project in both the levels, hardware and application. They have also assured some technical issues to be fixed within the expected timelines. For example, issues like e-proceedings, Form 15CA/CB, Digital signature certificate, past ITR views etc., are expected to be fixed within a week. It was also discussed that the timelines committed by Infosys would be placed in the public domain at some time.
Our finance ministry emphasised that the main aim of the portal is to provide a seamless user experience. Smooth service to the taxpayers is a priority of the government, and one of the essential elements to give this is a seamless user interface on the new e-filing portal. She expressed her concerns about the issues faced by the income tax portal users without much loss of time.
Further, it was stated that the government would continue engagement with the taxpayers and tax professionals by being responsive to their problems and addressing them the same.
Taxpayers and all other stakeholders expect the issues to be resolved promptly.
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