CA Associations of Surat – Timely release of Utilities and Stopping of Panic Messaging

Below is the Copy of the representation from Chartered Accountants Association, Surat (CAAS) 

Ref: CAAS/Representations/2021-22/01 Date: 01/04/2021

The Chairman,
Central Board of Direct Taxes,
Ministry of Finance,
Government of India,
New Delhi

Sub: Timely release of Utilities and Stopping of Panic Messaging.

Respected Sir,
Your goodself may be already aware of Chartered Accountants Association, Surat (CAAS), which
works for ensuring best practices in tax compliances vis-à-vis providing a better working
condition for our members, Chartered Accountants, their staff members and the industry (“the
As a part of our endeavor to provide better working condition for the Stakeholders, we hereby
represent the following:

  1. Timely release of Utilities:
    It is known fact that the stakeholders intending to file Income Tax Return on
    punctual basis are prevented from discharging their onerous duty due to
    delayed availability of the Utility Software provided by Income Tax Department
    either in the form of Excel, Java or Web based facilities. Empirical data shows
    that the Utility Softwares are released much late after keeping the stakeholders
    on a wait. Even after releasing it late these Utility Softwares are modified
    multiple times rendering the work done by the stakeholders useless.

As can be seen from the above infographic, very less time is made available to
the stakeholders to comply. Even within the limited time, the schema of the
utility softwares are modified multiple times.

Month% returns filed using Utility provided by DepartmentMonth% returns filed using Utility provided Department

As per above data on an average 47.42% returns are filed using Utility Software
provided by the department, which implies that 52.58% returns are filed using
third party softwares, based on schemas released by the department. Both, set
of return filing highly rely on the timely release of schemas.
However, it is pertinent to note that Schema is a mere skeleton of the database
storing the IT Return’s data. Providing of Schema does not liberate the

Government of its onerous duty to provide humanly fillable forms (either
Physical or digitally).
The above data should also be an eye-opener, indicating whether the
Government is focusing more on Schema, instead of user friendly Utility
Softwares. Is it for the appeasement of the Software Companies.?
It is not that the stakeholders are lethargic or rushing for last minute filing. It is
not a fad amongst the stakeholders to ask for extension of due dates every time,
but it is due to the shorter compliance period available to their hands. Thus, a
planned release of utility softwares is imperative for timely compliance of tax
laws. The Statutory Forms should be notified in the previous year itself, which
would enable releasing the Utility Softwares on or before 1st day or at the most
st week of the Assessment Year.

  1. Stopping of Panic Messaging:
    Vide our letter dt.26/01/2021, we had demanded to Stop Bombarding of
    unidentifiable emails & SMS after office hours. Similar requests were also made
    by 270 Trade, Industries and Professional Associations in their agitation
    dt.29/01/2021. However, still numerous unidentifiable emails and SMS with
    masked PAN are bombarded by the department by the CPC in the evening after
    office hours, at night, midnight, in the early morning and even on public
    holidays, on the registered email and phone numbers. This time pertaining to
    Sensitive / High Value Transaction. We would like to draw the attention of the
    Ministry with regards to the E-mail /messages received from the income tax
    department with regards to information titled as “High Value Transaction”
    reflected in compliance portal with a decisive remark that the assesse have

Some High Value transactions which does not appear to be in line with the
income tax Return filed for FY 2019-20. Please revise ITR/Submit online
response on compliance portal.
Such decisive remarks are creating panic amongst taxpayers and most of tax
professionals are getting endless enquires from assessees on vacation days like
Sunday and Holi festivals which is observed all over India. We, appreciate the
efforts of the department to bring revolutionary technological advancement and
use of artificial intelligence in the processing of the information but bombarding
of such types of email and SMS are creating havoc amongst the assessees
especially at the fag end of the year. Such notices continue to be delivered even
after the end of the assessment year, when it is not even possible to revise the
return and regularize the inconsistency, if any.
It is also observed that most of such notices are either related to sale of
properties or interest income. There may be hundreds of reasons for variation in
the returned income and information in both the income heads but language of
the notice is suggesting that something grave mistake or serious lapses has
been found by the department and spoiling the cordial relationship of tax
professionals and assessee. Irony of the matter is further aggravated by the fact
that compliance portal is not working on the very first working day after two
days holiday. Issuance and timing of such notices itself is a matter of great
discussion in light of the fact that department have powers to issue notices u/s
143(1) and 139(9).
Emails requiring the assessee to take any action or responding on to the portal
should be made only during working hours and at no other time. It is also a

matter requiring a viability/success study that how such mega e-campaigns can
become successful compared to the loss of man hours and agony of assesse and
tax professionals.

  1. Time Compensation:
    It was observed that during the last days at the end of the financial year, the
    Income Tax Portal, uptime whereof is the responsibility of the Government, was
    infact down. Various ready to upload income tax returns and forms having
    deadlines falling on or before 31st March 2021 could not be uploaded due to the
    stakeholder’s inability to upload on a down server. These situations are always
    beyond the control of the stakeholders.
    A suitable and adequate time compensation be provided for the amount of
    stakeholder’s time lost due to infrastructure failure, so that the ready to upload
    returns could be filed.
    We hope the above recommendation, suggestion and criticism would be helpful to your good
    self. Do take positive actions on our demand.

Thanks & Regards,
For Chartered Accountants Association, Surat.
President | Secretary

Copy to: –
(1) Finance Minister,
134, North Block, New Delhi – 110011

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