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I-T Dept launches online system

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THE Income-tax Department recently launched an Online Tax Accounting Systems (OLTAS) Pilot Project in New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata, which will be in operation till July 15.

The project is aimed at implementation of a scheme for online transmission of tax payment data from selected branches of designated banks to the RBI and further to the I-T Department, and the taxpayer identification is through PAN. The project is confined to corporate challans having PAN.

The main objective, according to the department here, is that any discrepancy between the amount of tax collected and as conveyed electronically will quickly be detected, and any defect with regard to implementation of OLTAS with reference to all categories of tax payments will be known.

Addressing newspersons here on Thursday, Mr S.C. Yadav, Chief Commissioner of Income Tax-1, Kolkata, said the objective of the pilot project was to study the levels of accuracy speed at which tax payment data can be transmitted and downloaded at various points.

The banks participating in the project are main branches of State Bank of India, Allahabad Bank, United Commercial Bank, United Bank of India and the RBI.

The data entry of the challans was already taking place at the collecting branch of the designated bank, and the identity of the taxpayer was being established through PAN.

He, however, added that the existing practice of capturing data from the physical challans at the Regional Computer Centre of I-T Department at Kolkata would continue in tandem with the OLTAS pilot project.

In Kolkata, so far, 1,271 challans have been received from designated banks, which are being entered for the purpose of OLTAS.

Outlining the basic features of the outsourcing model for new PAN applications, in Form 49A, now being handled by UTI-ISL under a 5-year agreement with the department, Mr Yadav said from July 1, the department has not been accepting any fresh 49AForms from any applicant.

He, however, clarified that PAN applications received up to June 30, were being processed by the department and PAN cards in the old plain vanilla format (minus the attractive hologram and UV Line) would be issued within four months. Putting the pending PAN applications figure for the West Bengal zone at 1.25 lakh, he said these would be cleared within 30-40 days.

The CCIT has named the six designated PAN application form distribution and receiving centres in Kolkata.

Mr Yadav attributed the drop in net tax collections for Bengal zone for April-June in the current financial year by 5.62 per cent over that in the same period of last fiscal to the steep increase in refunds, both corporate tax (CT) and Income Tax (I-T) at Rs 740.49 crore (Rs 784.55 crore). While CT figures fell from Rs 367.62 crore to Rs 352.36 crore, I-T fell from Rs 403.71 crore to Rs 366.41 crore.

Refunds for the first quarter have jumped to Rs 525.23 crore from the Rs 139.62 crore for the corresponding period of last year.

The budgeted total collection figure for the current year is Rs 4,223 crore (CT at Rs 1,767 crore and I-T Rs 2,456 crore).

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