Allocation Of Separate Budget For Tax Sites/Govt Portals Is The Need Of The Hour

CA Prarthana Jalan has argued that the frequent breakdowns of the Government’s websites has put the Government in bad light and is making mockery of the grandiose digital India plans. She has pleaded that the Finance Minister should allocate funds towards beefing up the infrastructure so that the websites are able to take the ever-increasing number of taxpayers

On 1st February 2018, the Hon’ble Finance Minister would present the budget. For the budget various proposals on various tax/ fiscal laws, area of concerns have been given by many forums but one of the important area to focus on priority basis is to allocate a special budget for the tax sites/government portals. Income Tax Site, GSTN, MCA, PF, ESI, ITAT, High Court etc all these sites have become a part and parcel of majority of our countrymen.

Though we are moving towards digitalization, Green initiative (paperless), ease of doing business, tax/law reforms etc but the major obstacle in all these visions is the present tax sites/government portals.

With the availability of 4G and very soon 5G, rest of the internet sites function at the speed of bullet train and the government/tax sites runs at the speed of passenger train, which keeps on getting derail (crash) every day or two.

A lot of man hours daily is getting wasted because of the present condition of the sites. It is just adding into frustration of professionals as well as common people of the country. We all know that one of the major reason for failure in GST implementation is the failure of GSTN site and the dates extensions are themselves the alibi of it.

The Income Tax site crashes with the load of tax audit reports itself. We are heading towards e-assessment, wherein the usage of the site would increase tremendously. It is necessary to make the site robust, not only in respect of speed and the capacity to handle load/traffic but also security and safety wise also. The Cyber -Attacks and the stealing and misusing of information from various sites are well known to all and our country is too prone to them. In the past there have been instances atleast twice or more when the official website of income tax officers i.e irsofficersonline itself was hacked. The tax sites/government portals would always be a delight and matter of pride for any hacker/malicious intruder. The manipulation of Tatkal system of ticket booking in railways is already making headlines across the nation.

In order to widen tax base and to check tax evasion a lot of tax/law compliance has been brought in various statues. Neither the individuals nor businessman nor professionals oppose to do tax/law compliance but for it, it is necessary that a proper working site is given. It is necessary for government to understand that for professionals, taxes/law are our filed and area of expertise and not JAVA versions/technical crunches that we have to encounter every day. We have technical knowledge about taxes/law but not about the errors that crop up in the sites.

On one side we are being proposed to have E-Courts and reality is that in most of the places, the staff is not so well equipped to upload all the orders pronounced and retrieving the orders from the official site takes a lot of time than it takes to google them up.

If the government needs to do ease of doing business than the first step is to upgrade, revamp, build, secure the various sites so that we as professionals can utilise our time in studying law and not JAVA language.

While amending tax/other laws and while allocating budget for various projects the development of tax sites/government portals should also be given priority and we as professionals can assure our FM that if sites function properly than we won’t ask for any extension of dates. So, Hon’ble Finance Minster please give priority towards tax sites also.

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