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Explained: The glitches on the new Income Tax e-filing portal

The Income Tax Department had last month announced launching its new e-filing portal on June 7, 2021.

Written by Aanchal Magazine , Edited by Explained Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: June 21, 2021 11:59:18 am
Within hours of its launch on June 7, taxpayers complained of the portal developing issues. (File)

After the tax department’s newly launched income tax e-filing portal reported glitches, Finance Ministry officials will meet representatives from Infosys, the vendors for the new I-T portal on June 22. The meeting comes days after Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had flagged the glitches on Twitter by tagging Infosys and Infosys Chairman Nandan Nilekani.

What is the meeting about?

The tax department in a statement on Tuesday night said that the meeting will discuss “issues/glitches in the recently launched e-filing portal of the Income Tax Department”. Other stakeholders including members from ICAI, auditors, consultants and taxpayers will also be a part of the interaction.

“The new portal has been fraught with several technical glitches/issues leading to taxpayer inconvenience. Written representations on the problems/difficulties faced in the portal have also been invited from the stakeholders. Representatives from Infosys team will be present to answer queries, clarify issues and receive inputs on the working of the portal, to remove glitches and sort out issues faced by the taxpayers,” the tax department said.

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What is the new income tax portal?

The Income Tax Department had last month announced launching its new e-filing portal on June 7, 2021. The department had said that the “new taxpayer-friendly portal” would be integrated with immediate processing of Income Tax Returns (ITRs) to issue quick refunds to taxpayers, with all interactions and uploads or pending actions to be displayed on a single dashboard for follow-up action by the taxpayer. The portal was to also have free of cost ITR preparation software available with interactive questions to help taxpayers for some categories of ITRs along with a new call centre for taxpayer assistance for prompt response to taxpayer queries.

Infosys was in 2019 awarded a contract to develop the new income tax filing system to reduce processing time for returns from 63 days to one day and expedite refunds.

What are the issues with the portal?

Within hours of its launch on June 7, taxpayers complained of the portal developing issues such as login issues and past filings not being visible on the portal.

The next morning, Sitharaman tweeted about the glitches. “The much-awaited e-filing portal 2.0 was launched last night at 20:45hrs. I see in my TL grievances and glitches. Hope @Infosys & @NandanNilekani will not let down our taxpayers in the quality of service being provided. Ease in compliance for the taxpayer should be our priority,” she tweeted.

In response to her tweet, Nilekani said Infosys would work on resolving the issues. “The new e-filing portal will ease the filing process and enhance the end-user experience.

@nsitharaman ji, we have observed some technical issues on day one, and are working to resolve them. @Infosys regrets these initial glitches and expects the system to stabilise during the week,” he tweeted.

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