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e-File tax returns

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  • e-File tax returns

    New Delhi: Filing of income-tax returns just got easier for corporates and other income-tax assessees all over the country. The Finance Minister, P. Chidambaram, on Friday launched a Web-based portal that would enable companies and other categories of assessees to file their returns online using the Internet.

    This initiative would particularly benefit the corporate sector, as companies are necessarily required to furnish the return for assessment year 2006-07 electronically to the Income-Tax Department. For other class of taxpayers (individuals, non-corporates and trusts), it is optional to furnish an e-return.

    Tata Consultancy Services Ltd (TCS) and Hero Honda Motors filed their respective e-returns, in the presence of Chidambaram, through the newly launched e-filing Web site at http://incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in.

    The department has already received e-returns from 1,600 companies under a scheme launched in September 2004,which was available to taxpayers assessed in certain specified cities (networked cities).

    `To bring benefits'

    Speaking on the occasion of the launch of the Web site, Chidambaram said that e-filing of returns would bring many benefits including anytime-anywhere filing. "This would also be easy, fast and free. No lengthy queues, no last minute rush, immediate e-filing acknowledgement and no personal interface (with tax department)," Chidambaram said.

    He highlighted that this was a jurisdiction-free filing and pointed out that TCS filed the return from New Delhi even as its assessing officer was based in Mumbai.

    The Finance Minister urged taxpayers to take advantage of this latest initiative of the Income-Tax Department. E-filing of returns would not only help taxpayers, but also the tax department.

    "Our goal is to do away with paper returns," Chidambaram said.

    The Finance Minister expressed confidence that corporates would file their returns before the due date, which is October 31. Later, the Revenue Secretary, K.M.Chandrasekhar, told Business Line that the due date of October 31 would not be extended.

    Annual info return

    Asked about annual information return (AIR) and the processing of information made available to the tax department through such returns, Chidambaram said that it was AIR that has brought huge tax collections to the Income-Tax Department.

    "We are not going to share with you as to how we are using AIR information. We are not harassing any assessee. AIR information is used

    to persuade them to file returns. There is no intent to harass taxpayers," he said.

    Stating that direct tax revenues of the Centre are buoyant, the Finance Minister highlighted that direct taxes collections had gone up by 40.9 per cent during April-September 2006 (Rs 79,213 crore). While personal income-tax collections surged by about 30 per cent during the first half of the current fiscal (Rs 29,310 crore), corporate tax collections increased by 47.9 per cent (Rs 49,813 crore) in the same period.

    He said that he has asked the tax department to treat taxpayers as customers. There has been a sharp change in the behaviour of taxpayers over the last one year and that there has been a substantial increase in the number of returns filed so far this year.