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May 13, 2002 | 1230 IST
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IT dept promises refunds in 2 months under Suvidha

Subhomoy Bhattacharjee

The income tax department has set an ambitious target of sending refunds within two months to taxpayers filing returns under the newly announced Suvidha scheme.

The scheme, which was announced by Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha in the budget this year, is meant to encourage salaried employees to file returns in electronic format in bulk.

This means that employees of organisations with above 50 income -tax payers will now have an additional option of filing their returns on line through their accounts departments.

The company will transcribe the data by using a software to be supplied by the income tax department and submit it to the IT department along with the paper returns.

According to revenue department officials they have already prepared the software called the Bulk Return Preparation Software for the same and will distribute it free once the notification under section 139(1A) of the Income Tax Act, is issued within this month.

They said since the Suvidha scheme will vastly reduce the clerical job of processing the returns, the refunds will also be generated within 30 to 45 days of filing the returns.

The notification says the returns of income under Suvidha will be processed on a priority basis.

The scheme is being introduced on a pilot basis in eight cities this year including the four metros besides Ahmedabad, Pune, Hyderabad, and Bangalore.

However to avail the benefits under the scheme the assesses must have a Permanent Account Number. Besides only the returns of the current assessment year will be considered and those who have changed jobs in the course of the year will not be eligible.

They said the scheme will facilitate the eventual computerisation of the department including developing a data base on the income tax payers in the country.

Since the employees need to provide no more information than what they provide under the usual income tax return form this is also user friendly and will take forward the process of allocating PAN numbers to each tax payer. However the company will need to obtain a written consent from the employees before they can file the computerised returns.

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