The I-T department seems to be getting a 360o hang of digital; after making online I-T forms easier to navigate—it is a one-page document—and instituting e-verification, it is looking at using an app to notify customers of their activity and keep them apprised. According to The Economic Times, the app, MyTax, will map a person’s PAN providing all-tax related information, including deductions for the year. What’s more, customers will be able to file complaints using the app and even reply to queries from the tax department. It is not clear whether e-filing would be possible via the app, but if done, it could prove quite handy as with a few clicks and taps, taxpayers would be able to file their returns.
Although this is a good initiative, the government needs to work on delivery. For instance, the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation has had a website for a few years now, but its functioning has been erratic. The site has faced several crashes in the past. The MyTax app needs to emulate the success of Twitter Sewa or My Gov app if the tax department wants to ease the load of tax-filing. An Icrier report highlights the contribution of apps to GDP growth. It points out that a 10% increase in India’s total internet traffic, delivers on an average a 3.3% increase in India’s GDP, and a similar gain in mobile internet traffic increases country’s growth by 1.3%. It is estimated that these services added $104 million to GDP in FY16 and are expected to add $537 million by 2020. If a similar platform is replicated for corporate tax applications as well, it would help India achieve a higher ranking for the ease of doing business—the country currently ranks 172 out of 190 countries in terms of the ease of paying taxes.