Replying to income tax scrutiny notices with supporting documents will soon be just a click away. Instead of having to make the rounds of the tax department with sheaf of papers in response to notices received, tax payers can soon upload them on the department’s e-filing portal sitting in comfort of one’s own premises. The Income Tax Department will very soon launch on its e- filing website a facility for uploading of information sought through scrutiny notices, a senior government official told PTI. “This is part of our focus to reduce human interface and make the department more taxpayer friendly,” he said. “The facility to e-file the documents to scrutiny notices is being done to reduce interface between the assessing officer and the taxpayer.” Also, the tax department plans to start soon an SMS facility to communicate with taxpayers about any scrutiny notice sent to them. “We will send SMS on the registered mobile number informing them to go to their account in the efiling portal to see the new notice,” the official said.
Once the facility is started, tax payers will get an SMS alert of a new notice or information being raised by the tax department. The assessee can then log on to the efiling portal and upload the documents that have been sought.
Currently, the department sends SMSes for informing tax payers, especially the salaried class, about the tax deducted at source (TDS). Also, such alerts are sent on filing of tax returns and their acceptance. As many as 3.65 crore individuals filed tax returns in assessment year 2014-15, while only 1 per cent of these are picked up for scrutiny. There are over 29 crore persons holding permanent account number (PAN). Also to avoid discretion to assessing officer, a computer-based programme picks up cases for scrutiny based on the risk parameters identified by the I-T department.
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The Income Tax Department had earlier said that all tax related proceedings between the assessee and the taxman from the new fiscal will be conducted online. A new link called ‘e-proceeding’ has already been launched on the e-filing portal through which assessees reply to notice, questionnaire, or letter issued under various sections of the I-T Act.