Income Tax Department rolling out new Business Application to improve efficiency

Newsroom24x7 Desk

income taxNew Delhi: The Income Tax Department currently is in the process of touching another level in the area of computerisation of office management replacing the existing ITD application with the Income Tax Business Application (ITBA) and the first phase of the replacement process will be completed in April 2015.

Income Tax department has been confronting roadblocks with its present business application particularly when it comes to ensuring accuracy of Manpower Management System (MMS) and Assessee Information System AIS and in order to achieve “correct hierarchy” the ITD is rolling out the new Income Tax Department Business Application (ITBA)

The ITD Business Application used till now by the department was restricted to assessment functions and its access IDs were available only to the assessment and the assessment monitoring officers. ITBA will have a broader usage and has been designed for the entire gamut of functions that include appeals, HR management, administration and examination. The application is designed to enure all functions of ITBA are available on a single interface and accessible with a just one sign in to work on any module of ITBA. The access privileges, however would be based on the designation of officers and the departmental hierarchy.

The Income Tax department has found that in the present application there are major inaccuracies in the flagging of old AO codes and enabling of refund banker. It has been identified that AO with active PAN has been flagged as old, while old AOs were not being flagged as old and there were thousands of cases were refund banker is not enabled for “AO without old flag” and vice versa.

Newsroom24x7 has found that directions have been issued today by the Income tax department across the country to ensure that the request for enabling refund banker for all current Assessing Officers is sent to DIT s-2 latest by March 23 on topmost priority. The Income Tax Commissioners have also been asked to get the AIS heirarchy corrected before March 25. This is a prerequiste for the ITBA to go live.

Computerisation in Income Tax Department

With a view to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of Direct Taxes administration and to create a database on its various aspects, a Comprehensive Computerisation programme was approved by the Government in October 1993. In accordance with the programme omputerisation was taken up on a three-tier system. At the apex level, a National Computer Centre (NCC) having large computers to maintain databases and to execute processing work of a global nature was envisaged.At the second level, 36 Regional Computer Centres (RCCs) were to beestablished across the country equipped with large computers to maintain regional databases and to cater to regional processing needs. All the RCCs were to be connected to the NCC through high speed data communication lines. At the third level, computers were to be installed in the rooms of all the assessing officers and connected with the respective RCC for data/information exchange, in a phased manner. Accordingly, in the first phase, Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai City regions were taken up and provided with state-of-the-art hardware and software connected with the RCC through inter-city and intra-city linkages. After stabilising of the computer systems in the 3 RCCs, computerisation of 33 other centres covering the rest of the country was taken up in the second phase.

The Directorate of Income Tax (Systems) [DIT(S)], New Delhi, was made the main nodal authority for overall planning and implementation of the computerisation programme including procurement of hardware/ software and development/ installation of application software. In addition, at each Regional Computer Centre the Chief Commissioner of Income Tax (CCIT) was required to monitor and co-ordinate with the DIT(S).

The Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) had censured the Income tax department in the year 2000 for lapses on several counts when it audited the computerirsation programme. CAG came to the conclusion in the initial staged that The conceptual plan finalised for computerisation in the Income Tax Department at the very outset grossly underestimated database sizing. The plan restricted itself to three major cities of Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai and failed to consider issues of expansion to 33 other centres. The plan also did not visualise the need for centralised PAN database.

None of the tenders, invited for procurement of hardwares matched the desired specifications and found to be under configured. Though the Systems requirements specification, required to be prepared before procurement of hardwares, was not finalised, the department placed the order in July 1994 on TISL for procurement of hardwares costing Rs.1990 lakh without re-tendering.

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