New e-filing site for taxpayers from Jun 7; existing to undergo 'blackout'

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New Delhi, May 20 (PTI) A new 'taxpayer friendly' income tax filing website will be launched on June 7 as the Central Board of Direct Taxes on Thursday said the existing one will be phased out after a 'blackout period' of six days beginning next month.

The board, that frames policy for the Income Tax Department, has urged taxpayers 'to complete all their urgent tasks involving any submission, upload or downloads before June 1 to avoid any difficulty during the blackout period (June 1-6)'.

An order issued by the systems directorate of the department on Wednesday said the 'transition' from the old portal -- -- to the new -- will be completed and made operational from June 7.

'In preparation of this launch and for migration activities, the existing portal of the department would not be available for a brief period (taxpayers as well as external stakeholders) of six days from June 1 to 6,' the order, accessed by PTI, said.

The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) issued a statement and said that it 'requests the patience of all taxpayers and other stakeholders during the switch over to the new e-filing portal and the subsequent initial period while they get familiarised with the new system'.

It added that to ensure there is no 'inconvenience to taxpayers, the department will not fix any compliance dates during this period'.

'Further, directions have been issued to fix hearing of cases or compliances only from June 10 onwards, to give taxpayers time to respond on the new system,' the board said.

'If any hearing or compliance which requires submissions online has been scheduled during this period, the same will be pre-poned or adjourned and the work items would be rescheduled after this period,' the CBDT said.

It said that the new web portal will enable new features under six broad categories and it will also ensure quick refunds to taxpayers.

The new taxpayer friendly portal is integrated with immediate processing of Income Tax Returns (ITRs) to issue quick refunds to taxpayers and all interactions and uploads or pending actions will be displayed on a single dashboard for follow-up action by the taxpayer.

The new site will also has a free ITR preparation software available online and offline with interactive questions to help taxpayers fill ITR even without any tax knowledge, with pre-filling and for minimising data entry effort.

For addressing queries of taxpayers there will be a call centre, tutorials, videos and chatbot or live agent. The new website, as per the CBDT statement, will also subsequently enable a new online tax payment system with multiple new payment options using net banking, UPI, credit card and RTGS or NEFT from any account of the taxpayer in any bank, for easy payment of taxes.

It also said that all key portal functions on the desktop will be available on a mobile app which will be enabled subsequently for access on a mobile network.

The CBDT said the tax department has also 'intimated external entities including banks, MCA, GSTN, DPIIT, CBIC, GeM, DGFT who avail services of PAN verification (from this website) etc. about the non-availability of the services.' It has been requested to them 'to make arrangements to ensure that their customers/stakeholders are apprised, so that any relevant activity can be completed prior to or after the blackout period'.

'The new e-filing portal is aimed at providing taxpayer convenience and a modern, seamless experience to taxpayers,' the board said.

'This is another initiative by the CBDT towards providing ease of compliance to its taxpayers and other stakeholders,' CBDT spokesperson Surabhi Ahluwalia said in the statement.

The e-filing portal is used by the taxpayers to file their individual and many other categories of ITRs and also to raise complaints seeking refunds and other works with the tax department.

The taxman uses it to issue notices, get responses from the taxpayer and respond to their queries and to communicate final orders like assessments, appeals, exemption and penalties, among others. PTI NES ANB ANB

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