Income tax

Finance Minister Sets Deadline for Infosys to Solve Income Tax Portal Problems

New Delhi: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday told Infosys CEO Salil Parekh in no uncertain terms of the government’s “deep disappointment and concern” over continuing problems with the new tax reporting portal on income.

She has set September 15 as the deadline for the major in software to solve all the problems. As problems continued to disrupt the operation of the portal even after two months of its launch, Sitharaman summoned Infosys Managing Director and CEO Parekh to his office to find out the reasons for not resolving the portal’s issues.

A statement issued by the Income Tax Department said that during the meeting, the Minister of Finance stressed the need to invest more resources and efforts on the part of Infosys, in order to that the very late delivery of the agreed services is ensured. “The Honorable Minister of Finance demanded that the problems faced by taxpayers on the current functionality of the portal be resolved by the team by September 15, 2021, so that taxpayers and professionals can work transparently on the portal, “the IT department said in a statement. After the meeting.

Sitharaman, according to the statement, expressed “deep disappointment and concerns of the government and taxpayers” over the lingering problems in the e-filing portal. “She asked Infosys for an explanation for the repeated problems faced by taxpayers,” he added. During the meeting, Parekh was also made aware of the difficulties faced by taxpayers and the problems that arise due to delays in the functioning of the portal.

Parekh explained that he and his team are doing everything to ensure the proper functioning of the portal. “Over 750 team members are working on this project and Pravin Rao, Infosys COO, is personally supervising this project. He also ensured that Infosys was working diligently to ensure a hassle-free experience for taxpayers on the portal, ”the statement added. The portal, which went live on June 7, was only accessible on August 21 and 22 until late in the evening. He returned after what the technical major described as “emergency maintenance.” This is the second time that Sitharaman has met the Infosys team on this subject. She also met Parekh and Rao on June 22.

The Infosys logo is pictured inside the company's headquarters in Bengaluru, India on April 13, 2017. Credit: Reuters / Abhishek N. Chinnappa / File Photo The Infosys logo is pictured inside the headquarters at the company in Bengaluru, India on April 13, 2017. Credit: Reuters / Abhishek N. Chinnappa / File photo

The Infosys logo is pictured inside the company’s headquarters in Bangalore. Photo: Reuters / Abhishek N. Chinnappa / File photo

Infosys won the contract for Rs 4,242 crore in 2019 to develop the new portal. The project aimed to develop the next-generation tax filing system to reduce filing processing time from 63 days to one day and speed up refunds. Between January 2019 and June 2021, the government paid Rs 164.5 crore to Infosys for the development of the portal.

The new electronic income tax filing portal “www. Incometax.gov.in ”, however, faced technical issues from day one, with users complaining that certain features were unavailable or worked slowly. As a result, IT has had to allow manual filing of remittance forms and lengthen the timelines for electronic filing of information-related forms by pension funds and sovereign wealth funds.

Shiv Sena MP Priyanka Chaturvedi said in a tweet: “It has been two months since the IT portal was launched and yet no solution has been found to resolve the issues. How does summoning and lambasting the CEO become public relations material for the finance ministry? Nothing but a powerful embarrassment for a country that talks about Aatmanirbhar & Digital Bharat ”.

The chairman of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry for Progress, Harmony and Development (PHDCCI) of the direct taxes committee, Mukul Bagla, said that India has about 7 million people or entities who file their tax returns. Due to problems in the income tax portal, their daily operation has been negatively affected since June 7.

“Taxpayers are not able to download documents filed earlier with the income tax department or file their income tax returns (RTIs) for 2021-2022, if they opt for new rates. The person assessed is unable to produce statements or file a response to sanction proceedings. Many other important tax functions have been affected, ”he said. “In the absence of a fully functional income tax portal, either we suspend all income tax procedures until it is functional and further extend the due dates for filing RTI. The life of the taxpayer as well as the tax professional is very miserable, ”Bagla added.


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