Income tax portal is in much better shape: Infosys

BENGALRU: After coming under intense scrutiny for technical glitches in the income tax e-filing portal, Infosys has addressed some of the concerns. The company on Thursday said that over 1.5 crore returns have been filed till date. It said over three crore taxpayers have successfully completed various transactions on the portal. It said that in September, more than 15 lakh unique taxpayers on average have logged into the portal daily.
But the company acknowledged that some users continue to experience difficulties and said it is working expeditiously, in collaboration with the income-tax department, to address those issues. Over 85% of taxpayers who have filed their returns have also completed their e-verification, largely through Aadhaar OTP authentication. The portal is facilitating over 2.5 lakh returns filing daily and ITR 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 7 are now available for filing, Infosys said. Many of the statutory forms have also been made available online.
“Infosys has bounced back compared to where they were. Basic forms of ITR 1, 2, 3 and 4 are fine, but the subsequent forms have to be put to practical use for us to see how they work,” said S Sundar Raman, a chartered accountant (CA) and a member of the finance ministry’s 10-member committee mandated to undertake a comprehensive review of the portal and share observations and feedback daily.
Sundar Raman said the integration testing hasn’t given the best results for all features and functionalities. The upgraded system has involved major technology transitions in an effort to automate more of the tasks. For ITR utilities, the programming language Java was replaced by JSON (JavaScript Object Notation). “JSON is a lighter version and it increases the speed of processing. The new upgrade was built with a view to automate many tasks. If you pay an insurance premium of more than Rs 2 lakh and if you have a mutual fund of more than Rs 2 lakh, the information gets captured at the source level and shows up automatically when you log in so that you don’t have to key anything manually. If an assessee fails to disclose an interest amount, it triggers a notice. Earlier, Infosys did much of the processing at the central processing centre in Bengaluru, while the software for filing returns was designed by TCS. The effort was to make it one seamless platform. They changed the platform, the compatible files and workflows, and there is insufficient mapping of that,” Sundar Raman said.
He said the process where an assessee who makes a foreign payment and who needs a certificate from a CA about TDS eligibility and which then needs to go to the bank, is still not smooth.
Other sources also said the integration testing hasn’t given the best results. “The architecture is built on microservices and some of the APIs (application programming interfaces that allow microservices to talk to one another) are not compatible. Some of them should be provided by the income-tax department to work synchronously with the new programme. When APIs are not ready, a developer stub (temporary piece of code) is used till they receive the APIs. But this may not be optimal,” one source said.

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