The interview of the Central Board of Direct Taxes chairman (Timely refund is our priority, 7 February) was very interesting. In view of the Right to Information Act and the convenience of tax payers, the Income Tax Department should put the status of all income tax refunds on their website. Also, genuine assessees sometimes misquote their PAN unintentionally. A list of the names of such people should be available online so that they can correct their mistake.
—Mahesh Kapasi, Delhi
Both your suggestions are reasonable. It is time that the Income Tax Department be made more accountable. Putting the status of refunds on the Internet will bring some measure of transparency. We have highlighted the irrationality of the severe penalty on assessees who misquote their PAN without any dubious intention. Hopefully, this rule will be modified soon.
Your latest issue on tax planning was very timely and informative (Tax Planning, 7 February). As you rightly pointed out, many people rush at the eleventh hour to invest in tax deductible financial instruments. Your story has great reference value not just now but throughout the year.
—A Subramanian, e-mail
We are glad you found the story useful. Tax saving should no longer be separate from financial planning. Hopefully more people will now plan their taxes along with other investments for optimising returns.
Your income tax special issue is good but only in parts (Tax Planning, 7 February). For instance, the table in the Tax Savings Primer has calculated tax for senior citizens on the basis of income. It would have been better if it also took into account the Rs 1 lakh deduction under Section 80C, which raises their tax free limit to Rs 2.95 lakh. Further, there will be new tax forms this year so there’s no utility of explaining how to fill up the forms used last year.
—M K Jain, Delhi
The tables in the primer have given the tax payable in both situations—with and without availing the deductions under Sections 80C and 80D (medical insurance). You are correct that the forms will be changed this year but our sources inform us that there will not be too many changes except for some cosmetic tinkering. The new forms will come out around May so we thought it better to go with the old ones till then. When the new forms come out, we will explain the changes for the benefit of readers.
The story on income tax (Tax Planning, 7 February) was very useful, especially the tips on filling tax forms. Many IPOs will be hitting the markets this year. Please give similar guidelines on filling IPO forms which are quite complicated.
—Akhilesh Kumar Sah, Faizabad
Thank you for your suggestion. We will consider doing an extensive story on IPOs with details about the forms.
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