Now, relax over tax

The tax department has created a web of user-friendly services



The tax filing season may be behind you, but every year, there are chances that you may have to interact with the tax department outside of the tax filing exercise too.

Don’t fret though.

Gone are the old times where you had to run from pillar to post or stand in long queues to get your problems resolved. The department has taken several steps to create a hassle-free experience for assessees, be it in the process of resolving their queries, providing other tax-related services or in redressing their grievances.

What’s more, the department has also upped its online presence to help assessees get most things done with a click of the mouse, sitting in the comfort of their homes. Here’s what is on the menu.

Online services

What if a tax demand is raised and you want to submit your response? Or you may want to enquire about the status of your refund which has not yet been credited to your account? In both cases, the tax department’s e-filing website is where you should go.

What if you want to apply for a PAN for your family member, track its status or make corrections in an existing PAN? For this, you will have to hit the NSDL website. What if you want to view your tax credits? This has to be done in the TDS CPC (TRACES) website. Wait, you don’t have to memorise where to go for what. Just log on to http://www.incometaxindia.gov.in/Pages/tax-services.aspx.

A list of services provided to all assessees, including individuals, is put up in this page along with the link to the relevant website to be accessed, helpline numbers and e-mail IDs for correspondence.

An online guide to the procedure/process for requesting and completing each of these services is given alongside. You can also access http://www.incometaxindia.gov.in/Pages/Tax-helpline.aspx for this purpose. Most service requests can be completed online end-to-end, thus saving you a lot of time.

To make things even easier, the department recently launched the ‘Aaykar Setu’ mobile app. Available for android currently, the app serves to address various queries that taxpayers may have or services that they may need relating to returns, PAN/TAN, TDS, refund, rectification, etc.

It hosts a bunch of calculators — be it for advance tax payable, calculation of income tax dues or for calculation of taxable and exempt portion of various allowances provided to salaried assessees. It also helps you access a Tax Return Preparer if necessary and enables payment of taxes online. Linking Aadhaar with PAN can be done through this app. A live chat facility is available here as well.

Grievance redressal

Much like the service delivery, the grievance redressal procedure has also been made completely online. The tax department has introduced ‘e-Nivaran’ to address all the grievances received through various channels under a single window.

You can access e-Nivaran at www.incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in using your PAN and e-filing login credentials. Through e-Nivaran, taxpayers can submit grievances related to differences with the assessing officer and other partner institutions such as NSDL, grievances related to e-filing, TDS, refunds etc, giving a detailed description of the nature of the grievance.

Copies of supporting documents such as Form 16/16A ,challan, copy of communication from the department, etc., can be uploaded. One can also view the status of the grievance after submission.

A user manual for e-Nivaran is available at https://incometax indiaefiling.gov.in/eFiling/Portal/ StaticPDF/e-Nivaran_User_ Manual.pdf

If you are not able to resolve things on your own or if you are not net-savvy, the department has set up ASK (Aaykar Seva Kendra) centres in several towns and cities for providing assessee-related services including grievance redressal.

Applications to the centre can be filed in person as well as through a drop-box facility. You can track the progress of your case through the unique acknowledgement number issued to you.

A list of these centres is available at http://www.incometax india.gov.in/Documents/aayakar -seva-kendra-contact-details- 03222010.pdf.

If you don’t have access to an ASK centre or for some reason your grievance doesn’t get resolved either through e-Nivaran or ASK centres, you can then approach the grievance cell of the department. While ASK centres are mandated to display details of tax ombudsman and public grievance officer, a state-wise list of officers who can be approached for grievance redressal along with their contact details is available at http://www.incometaxindia.gov.in/Pages/tax-helplines/regional-grievances.aspx.

The link also details the procedure that will be followed for redressal.

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