New Delhi/Chennai/Kolkata/Mumbai Aug 5 (IANS) Signalling the spread of digitisation in India, income tax (I-T) offices across the country did not witness any rush of assessees waiting to manually file their income tax returns for the 2016-17 fiscal by the deadline on Saturday.
The government had extended the deadline for filing of IT returns for the fiscal 2016-17 (assessment year 2017-18) to August 5 from the earlier July 31 date due to technical reasons.
The income tax office in Delhi had a deserted look when the IANS correspondent visited it around 3 p.m. on Friday.
According to an official, only short queues of assessees were witnessed at one of the main I-T offices in the national capital located at the Civic Centre near Ajmeri Gate.
“Most of the people have been able to file their returns till July 31st… during the five-day extension period an average turnout of only about 100-150 people a day have been noticed,” an official said.
“Out of these 100-150-odd assesses, most head-out to our online filing assistance desk and very few actually submit the physical form,” the official said
The quoting of Aadhaar has been made mandatory in the filing of the I-T return.
“The major rush now a days is for the online submission. Over here verified personanel licesnced by the department charge Rs 250 per filing of a salaried person, outside its over Rs 1,000,” another official said.
In Chennai, filing of income tax returns was going on smoothly at the special counters set up at the Income Tax office on Saturday, with no technical or other glitches reported so far.
Not much of a crowd of assesses was witnessed since many preferred to file their ITRs online.
“The filing is being done smoothly and briskly. We are not facing any technical problem like slowing or hanging of the server,” tax consultant R. Badrinarayanan told IANS.
“There is no need for any more extensions as the technical issues have been sorted out,” he said.
Kolkata too did not report any extraordinary rush to filr ITRs on the last day.
“After the extension of last date, we did not find any extraordinary rush. Till now, about 500 income tax returns have been filed since morning. Around 27,000 paper returns were submitted here till July 31. In the five-day extension period, additional 2000 returns have so far been filed here,” a tax official at Kolkata’s Bamboo Villa I-T department office told IANS.
“Nowadays income tax returns are mostly filed online, even though last year up to March 31, we had received hard copy IT returns of about 78,000 only in Bamboo Villa,” he added.
A Kolkata-based tax professional S. Mitra told IANS: “The online portal of the I-T departmen” had some technical glitches before the earlier deadline of July 31. We were finding difficulties in uploading our clients’ annual statements on the website. The pro’lem, has been eased out to a large extent but, the website still remains slow.”
In Mumbai, the filing of IT returns have “ontinued smoothly since the past five days and on the last date of the extended deadline, which ended here on Saturday.
“There have been no technical glitches or brea”downs in the IT servers, and it has been a largely hassle-free but hectic experience for the consultants and the assessees,” corporate IT consultant J. P. Purohit told I”NS.
Before the extension of July 31 deadline, a sense of panic that prevailed among the assessees had subsided this time and the chaos witnessed earlier was absent at the offices of consultants as well as the special counters in IT offices, he said.
The government has informed Parliament that the number of income tax payers has increased after the November demonetisation measure. During the period between November 9, 2017, till March 31, 2017, 1.96 crore returns were filed, as compared to 1.63 crore returns filed during corresponding period of 2015-16.