With 3.42 crore returns getting filed electronically in FY15, the income tax department has come a long way in automating the whole process of filing returns to sending refunds directly into the bank accounts of the taxpayers.
While the fear of the taxman still remains, emails from the department informing about the status of returns filed has made the system taxpayer-friendly to an extent. But the backlog of refunds still continues.
In the next stage, with all the details of tax payments and deductions now being online, the Central Board of Direct Taxes must consider a passbook scheme for taxpayers—the online passbook having all the details can help taxpayers keep a tab of their tax filings and refunds due. This will ensure efficient management of refunds and the passbook could be used by the taxpayer for payment of advance tax for the subsequent year if it gets delayed.
According to government data, at present, over 4.5 crore taxpayers and 15 lakh deductors are using various online services like e-payment of taxes, e-filing of tax returns and TDS statements, tax credit statements in Form 26AS, digital TDS certificates in Form 16/16A and issuance of refunds. During the fiscal, more than 94% of tax returns have been filed online, while more than 80% of direct tax revenue is received online. Also, about 99% of TDS statements are being filed electronically.