Harness IT for I-T
Apropos of the editorial “From saral to kathin” (FE, April 21), in less than a decade the “Saral” tax returns forms have moved from being a single page version to over a dozen. This year, the 14-page form got complicated with information on foreign visits and expenses being added. It runs counter to the philosophy of saral, whether applied to tax forms or in more general terms to the government’s objective of making it easier to do business. Following an outcry, the tax administration has promised to come up with a simpler form—simplicity enhances voluntary tax compliance. The root of the problem is the failure to harness the potential of information technology. If IT can be harnessed for processing I-T, not only will taxpayers benefit, it will also reduce the incidence of black money. In the absence of an overarching tech strategy, tax administration functions in silos. Fortunately, it is expected to change this year with a new project dubbed Income Tax Business Application, which aims to integrate different systems. Once silos disappear, tax administration will take a big step forward in the fight against black money. More than draconian laws, it is an effective tax administration that is key to curbing tax evasion. Globally, tax administrations are using technology to make life simpler for taxpayers.
Bhagwan Thadani, Pune
The net neutrality issue has become a bone of contention. Although there are agreements and disagreements on the way the internet is being consumed, factors such as customer satisfaction, effectiveness and glitch-free utilisation must be the motto and the ensuing claim of internet service providers. Making the internet penetrate every nook and corner of the country should be the next step. Altogether, it is the responsibility of internet service providers to offer facilities that are cost-effective.
P Senthil Saravana Durai, Mumbai
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