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Income Tax Department to Launch Dedicated Mobile App For Filing Returns

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Taxes on Mobile

Its not just ecommerce companies which are keenly exploring the mobile landscape in India; Income tax department too is interested to tap this potential.

In a historical move, Income Tax Department of India has announced that a mobile app would be soon launched, for filing returns.

While inaugurating ‘Taxpayers’ Lounge’ at the India International Trade Fair (IITF) in Delhi, Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) Chairperson Anita Kapoor said, “We are developing a mobile app which can be used by users for filing their income tax returns. There are some security related issues, which we will resolve soon,”

This is a masterstroke from the IT Department, as the penetration of smartphones is catching up fast, and filing of income tax can now be ultra fast and easy to do. As per officials, online tax returns is a major hit among Indians, and it is expected that a mobile app will further attract non-tax payers into paying their taxes.

We are yet to receive details about this new app, and which features would be included in it.

Income Tax Department Is Behind Their Target

For the fiscal year 2014-15, IT Department collected 14% less tax, compared to their expectations. Till March 31, 2015, revenues under direct tax category stood at Rs 6,96,000 crore, whereas the target was Rs 7,05,000 crore. This shortfall of Rs 9000 crore in tax collections can be compensated for the fact that net tax collections was 19% more than last fiscal year.

During that time, IT Dept. blamed the slow moving manufacturing and construction industry for the shortfall in their targets.

For this fiscal year: 2015-16, IT dept. has set a collection target of Rs 7,98,000 crore; and it seems that the developments are satisfactory as of now. Anita Kapoor said, “Collections are doing well and we are keeping our fingers crossed. The December collection of advance tax will actually give us a good idea.”

Major Tax Reforms Needed?

Social media welcomed IT Department’s decision to introduce mobile app for filing tax returns; however, several interesting suggestions also came up during the conversations.

For instance, on Reddit India, a user suggested that when the Government is already aware about every transactions made via specific PAN Card, there is no need to repeat the process and ask all tax-payers to file a return. Using technology, IT Dept. can extract all details of every expense made by a citizen, and generate it themselves. The tax payer will only need to verify it and approve it.

Reddit IT Tax collection

On the contrary, there are several tax-payers who don’t declare everything they have spent; hence the whole concept of filing tax returns is itself flawed.

Taking hardcopies of tax returns, and then snail-mailing them was another grudge shared by social media users.

In India, only 2.89% of the population pays income tax, which is far, far lower than other developed countries. For instance, in US, 45% of all citizens pay their taxes.

Although the present Govt. has introduced several large scale changes in the process of filing taxes, there are still huge gaps between what is expected and what people are actually doing.

Along with mobile app, Income Tax Dept. also needs to introduce sweeping changes in the whole process to generate more revenues from income taxes.

We will keep you updated as more information regarding the new mobile app comes in.

[Image: Shutterstock.com]

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