Finance minister Sitharaman asks tech costo beef up GSTN and income-tax portal (labcalindia)

The government has asked technology providers for both the income-tax portal and GST Network to significantly improve system capabilities in 10 years, including an efficient monitoring ecosystem to catch evasion, in-built data analytics capabilities, and ease of filing returns, officials said.

The move comes after finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman in a Chintan Shivir organised last month asked both the Central Board of Direct Tax (CBDT) and Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) to work on improving the digital infrastructure of these portals, keeping in mind the increased number of future transactions.

“The FM made it clear to make the refund and tax-filing system glitch free, simple and swift,” a senior official told ET.

Currently, Infosys is the technology provider for both the income-tax return portal and the Goods and Services Tax Network (GSTN), which is responsible for giving technology support to the goods and services tax system.

While GSTN has refused to renew the contract of Infosys, which ends on September 30, 2024, the I-T department has already asked the firm to make the necessary changes in the system.

The immediate challenge is to make faceless better, setting up a database for the new tax regime, end-to-end automation, and simplified common income tax return form for all taxpayers, among others, said the official quoted above.”Despite the heavy traffic, the income-tax portal has been doing well, but it has to be upgraded to meet the future requirements,” the official added.The task is bigger for the technology provider for GSTN as the government is gearing up to launch GST 2.0, where focus will be in automated return on the lines of Income Tax 26A, end-to-end syncing with the I-T portal for data exchange, and a smooth system for claiming refunds and credits. GSTN will go for an open bidding to select a technology company to handle the portal for seven years starting October 1, 2024, officials said.

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