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India's tax authorities are leveraging data analytics to enhance decision-making processes

India, a nation on the cusp of digital revolution, is witnessing a transformative journey in its tax administration. The integration of digital technologies is reshaping the landscape of tax collection and compliance, promising increased efficiency, transparency, and a significant reduction in tax evasion. The digital transformation of tax administration in India is not just a modernisation effort but a game changer that holds the potential to revolutionise the entire tax ecosystem.

Digital India Initiative

At the heart of India's digital transformation lies the ambitious 'Digital India' initiative launched by the government. This comprehensive programme aims to harness the power of technology to create a digitally empowered society and transform the way government services are delivered. In the realm of tax administration, the Digital India initiative is a catalyst for change, fostering innovation and efficiency in revenue collection.

Automation of Tax Processes

One of the key aspects of India's digital transformation in tax administration is the automation of processes. The introduction of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) in 2017 marked a significant milestone in this journey. The GST portal serves as a centralised platform for businesses to file their returns, enabling seamless compliance and reducing the bureaucratic burden. Automation not only expedites routine tax-related tasks but also minimises errors, ensuring accuracy in financial transactions.

Mobile-Based Tax Filing

India's vast population is increasingly accessing the internet through smartphones. Recognising this trend, the government has developed mobile applications that empower taxpayers to file returns, check their tax status, and receive updates on policy changes. Mobile-based tax filing ensures accessibility for a wider demographic, promoting inclusivity and ease of compliance.

Data Analytics for Improved Decision-Making

India's tax authorities are leveraging data analytics to enhance decision-making processes. The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has implemented Project Insight, an initiative that utilises advanced analytics and artificial intelligence to scrutinise taxpayer data. By analysing vast datasets, tax authorities can identify potential risks, detect irregularities, and formulate targeted enforcement strategies. This data-driven approach not only improves the efficiency of tax collection but also strengthens the government's ability to make informed fiscal policies.

Income Tax New Portal

The income tax e filing portal, www.incometaxidiaefiling.gov.in, was created by the department to provide e-filing related services to the taxpayers. The users use the existing income tax e-filing portal to file their income tax returns and other forms. In addition to income tax return filing, they can do the following tasks on the portal:

  • E-verify income tax returns.
  • View and respond to an outstanding income tax demand.
  • File audit reports and certificates.
  • View tax credit statement (Form 26AS).
  • View tax credit mismatch.
  • Request for refund re-issue.
  • Request for intimations.
  • Request for change of ITR particulars.
  • Link Aadhaar with PAN.
  • Lodge grievance online.
  • Respond to e-proceedings.

The income tax department uses the portal to access the uploaded income tax returns and other forms for further processing, issue notices, receive a response from the taxpayers and communicate the final orders such as assessment, appeals, exemption and penalties.

Things to-be Done by Taxpayers

  • Re-register their Digital Signature Certificate (DSC) as the old registered DSCs are not migrated due to security issues.
  • They are advised to update the user ID and mobile number under primary contacts in their profile,
  • Link Aadhaar and pre-validate bank account if not done previously and
  • Reset e-Filing Vault Higher Security Options.

Migration of MCA portal from Version 2 to Version 3

Migrating the MCA portal from Version 2 to Version 3 marks a significant evolution in the online e-form filing process. In the current V2 portal, users download e-forms, fill them offline, and then upload the completed forms onto the portal. However, in the upgraded V3, a transformative shift occurs – e-forms are now filled online directly on the portal, offering users the convenience of saving partially filled forms for later submission. This not only enhances user flexibility but also minimizes the risk of errors and omissions in e-forms. The modified e-forms in V3 mandate additional disclosures, ensuring a more comprehensive and accurate submission process. The migration aims to streamline procedures, empowering users with an efficient, user-friendly, and error-resistant e-form filing experience.

Artificial Intelligence in Tax Enforcement

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a game changer in India's tax enforcement efforts. The Income Tax Department is actively employing AI algorithms to sift through vast datasets, identify patterns, and detect potential instances of tax evasion. The use of AI not only expedites the audit process but also acts as a deterrent, sending a strong message to taxpayers about the government's commitment to ensuring fair and effective tax compliance.

Challenges and Opportunities

While India's digital transformation in tax administration is commendable, it is not without challenges. Cybersecurity concerns, the need for digital literacy, and ensuring inclusivity in the digital tax ecosystem are areas that demand continuous attention. However, these challenges also present opportunities for innovation and collaboration between the government, private sector, and technology experts to build a resilient and inclusive digital tax infrastructure.

India's digital transformation in tax administration is a monumental shift towards efficiency, transparency, and enhanced compliance. As the country embraces the digital age, the benefits of automation, data analytics, blockchain, and artificial intelligence are becoming increasingly evident. The game-changing nature of this transformation lies not just in its ability to modernize tax processes but also in its potential to reshape the tax landscape, fostering a fair, efficient, and technology-driven tax administration in the world's largest democracy.

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Autor(en)/Author(s): CA Ruchika Bhagat

Quelle/Source: ABP Live, 26.03.2024

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