A Plea to the Indian Finance Department
A Plea to the Indian Finance DepartmentRate:

A Plea to the Indian Finance Department
Tags: Finance, Government

In today's digital age, it's baffling that despite the income tax department having access to all our financial data, we still struggle with the cumbersome process of filing income tax returns. Why can't the department provide us with a pre-filled income statement when it's time to file returns?

Instead, we're expected to disclose everything ourselves, navigating a complex process that's daunting for anyone without a background in finance or accounting.

Schools don't teach tax, leaving many of us grappling with this annual challenge. First, we're told to fill out returns despite being tax-illiterate, and then we're bombarded with warnings for mistakes or unpaid taxes. It feels like we're set up for failure.

For many, saving money is hard enough, and then we have to pay hefty fees to CAs to correct our errors. While the Indian government is making strides in various areas, simplifying tax filing isn't one of them. The current approach reflects poorly on the competence of those in the finance team.

Here's a suggestion:
Hire consultants to utilize the data you already have. With every citizen's financial statements at your fingertips, why not send us a pre-filled return to confirm? It shouldn't be the other way around. People shouldn't receive warnings or legal notices just because they don't know how to file taxes correctly.

Furthermore, employed individuals should receive benefits for taking out car and personal loans, just like businesses that save on taxes. These loans stimulate the economy and should be acknowledged in tax policies.

The mantra should be "Keep it simple, silly".

 This critique is aimed at the Indian Finance Department, not any individual. The department should work smarter, leveraging technology not just to catch defaulters but to ease the process for everyone. Most defaulters simply don't know how to file taxes properly. Instead of making our lives difficult, send out a consolidated tax summary for us to approve.

With most transactions now online, hiding income is nearly impossible. So, why are we punished because the tax department can't do the math for us? It's your job—why are you there if not to assist citizens in this crucial task? Instead of finding people who don't know how to file taxes, implement mandatory tax education in schools if this is the future you envision.

Finally, focus on penalizing those who actually evade significant taxes. For the rest of us, make the process straightforward and stress-free. It's time for a smarter, more citizen-friendly approach to tax filing in India.

Small Story
As a first-time flat buyer, I was told to fill out the tax at source, but I didn't know how to do the same, and no one cared to help me because the government had made this mandatory from that year only.

And the process was so complicated, if you are co-owners of the property, then you have to file different taxes at the source or the same, and everything was messed up. Still, we managed to do that with few errors, but in the end, we got to know that we had to pay another 8,000 or something because the bankers and builders overlooked the transaction.

This tax liability would have cost us everything because the Income Tax Department is such that they don't even care for retired persons & ask for taxes because they are not competent to keep records safe.

Anyway, we paid the taxes.

But it was saved for some important work, for which we didn't have any money further. Having said that bankers also frauded us by saying that we would receive the tax paid on the loan amount back but never gave and always said that there was some technical issue, and at the end, they said that we paid the tax amount to the builder.

The only reason I didn't lodge a case against the Public Sector Bank and the Builder was because I wanted to live without any legal issues as there was a death in our family, and that is what is our weakness.

Our Financial & Legal System is Corrupt & we citizens don't have trust in both pillars.

It would be great if Indian Government can take care of these two pillars which are important for our democracy and a peaceful night's sleep.

Author: Mithlesh
A Plea to the Indian Finance Department