In an e-proceeding case, assessee can not submit reply by email. FAQ on issues and solution for working smoothly on ITBA

In an e-proceeding case, assessee can not submit reply by email. FAQ on issues and solution for working smoothly on ITBA

Directorate of Income Tax (Systems) has issued a comprehensive  FAQs on Commonly encountered issues by the Assessing Officers and their Solution for working smoothly on Income Tax Business Application (ITBA)

Though few of the questions relate to ITBA functioning, many of the issues are of relevance to the tax payers also following which they can avoid for faster processing of their cases.

As per the FAQ the following important points emerge for attention of tax payers also:

FAQ on Commonly encountered issues and their Solution for working smoothly on ITBA

In an e-proceeding case, assessee can not submit reply by email

It has been clarified that as part of e-proceedings assessee has to file his reply using his e-filing account on the e-filing portal. Submissions made in email of the AO will not form part of the work item in Assessment module and will not be available for post assessment work like Audit, Review and Revision.

In e-proceedings cases, the assessee is allowed to upload his reply beyond the date specified in notice u/s 142(1) 

For instance in a Sec 142(1) notice, assessee was required to file his reply by the 20th of October. However, for some reason assessee was unable to do so. Even then reply against such notice can be uploaded beyond such date unless AO chooses to prohibit. The only automatic check that has been set is six days prior to the Time barring date of 31/12/18, which is also extendable on AOs discretion upto 6 pm on 31/12/2018.

E-proceedings can not be conducted in cases where assessee has no PAN

It has been clarified that in e-proceedings, no work can be done in ITBA without PAN of assessee. The AO must allot allot PAN and then work in ITBA.

Mechanism to alert/notify assessee / AO of notice / reply through e-filing account

On being served a notice/letter/order from an AO ,assessee is alerted about it by way of an auto-generated email from ITBA and an SMS alert sent by the e-filing portal.

Similarly on submission of a reply by assessee the AO is alerted by way of an SMS prompting the AO to check the particular work item.

Problem with submission size

Submission size of a single file is maximum 5MB. Assessees have come with complaints that documents are larger in size and not getting uploaded. When it is suggested to assessees that upload documents after dividing files, then it becomes an added burden on the assessees.

Similarly, on the AO side, AO has to downloaded multiple attachments and see a common document across multiple files, thus it becomes difficult for the AO to read /study the same and maintain continuity. Further the process of opening the data of the assesses is in itself very time consuming.

It has been clarified that at present the file size limit for individual file is 5MB and overall submission limit is 50MB. For the sake of convenience the tax payer may upload multiple files of smaller size documents for upload but total size should not exceed 50MB.  Further, multiple submissions can be done by the user.

Uploading large files require high speed internet on side of taxpayer else uploading large files will fail. Hence a practical approach has been adopted.

However, multiple attachments are possible upto 50MB. Taxpayers have been advised to use optimum scanning settings reduce file size. Moreover in genuine cases of inconvenience, CBDT Instructions No 3/2018 has empowered PCIT to allow manual submissions in case of complex cases involving huge or bulky submissions.

No provision of sending an attachment to the assessee via ITBA

Presently, attachments has to be sent by Email only which presents the hindrance in cases where scan documents of reasons recorded for reopening are to be sent to the assessees.

It has been clarified that facility to make attachments at time of generating notices/ letters/ orders is under construction and expected to be ready soon. 

For the time being, free text option for drafting notice u/s 142(1) may be used to type out the contents of the document which was to be attached. As regards to specific issue of communicating the reason of reopening u/s 148, the same can be typed in the form of letter and communicated to the assessee through e-filing portal.

Problem where assessee has not named the file uploaded in e-assessment module of ITBA

If the assessee has not named the file uploaded in e-assessment module of ITBA as per the contents of the file submission, then such files are visible as specified number assigned to them by the system. In such circumstances, it is not possible to identify which file contains what kind of contents and submissions. Thus, the tracking of the content of the submission /document is difficult and inconvenient. Further in case assessee has not put any page number in the submission field, and there is no Para to it too, it becomes difficult to raise subsequent questions on the basis of the document provided by the assessee, as AO is unable to bring to the notice of the assessee, the exact point of dispute. This may lead to difference of interpretation/understanding on issue/facts by the AO, which may lead to more unnecessary litigation. 

With respect to issue whether the assessee should be blocked to upload a file without a brief description. It has been clarified that on the e-filing portal the taxpayer submits the response through attachment and there is a dedicated space for the descriptions of the documents being uploaded.

It is not feasible from a technical perspective to understand if the description given by taxpayer is adequate or not. Neither is it feasible for system to determine if response is complete or partial. On this basis system cannot block taxpayer from uploading their response. The field formations can guide the taxpayer to submit the response by giving a filename and numbering

Blank  or blurred documents 

It has been noted that once assesses uploads submission then sometimes in ITBA the said document when opened by the AO show blank documents or the contents are blurred. On cross check with the assessee, it is found that the same submission in assessee’s account opens showing all the data. If that assesses on request of AO again uploaded the same document, then ITBA show error message stating that the said document has already been uploaded. In order to overcome these lacunae, assessee has to again scan the entire set of document and rename them before submitting. This clearly causes hardship to the assessee and the AO also delays the proceedings leading to unnecessary duplication of efforts.

It has been clarified that the legibility of document uploaded and visible to assessing officer depends on large extent on quality of document and scanning software used by taxpayer. If such situation arises, the assessing officer may ask the taxpayer to re-submit the same. This situation is akin to manual system where if document is not proper quality, the recipient may always ask to submit the legible document. The field formations can guide the taxpayer to submit a clear, concise and legible response.

Adjourning hearing in e-proceeding cases

To adjourn a case in e-proceedings, the AO has to either issue a fresh notice u/s 142(1) or a letter to assessee through Initiate Other Action button. Simply recording of adjournment in Case History Notings screen will not communicate such fact of adjournment to assessee.

Functionality to drop cases selected u/s 148

Facility to drop 148 notices is available in system

Assessees unable to upload annexure on ITBA submitting the same through DAK

The size of attachment is 50MB.  The assessee can be advised to Zip large files and upload. Further multiple attachments can be uploaded against a Notice/questionnaire.

System treating partial reply as completed response

Even if the assessee furnishes replies to only one or two question, the system is treating the same as completed response and the same is being intimated on the mobile phone of the AO.

There is no builr in mechanism where the assessee can furnish replies to notice issued u/s 142(1) in part.  AO may issue notice or letter to assessee intimating the facts and asking assessee to file reply on remaining issues as well. He can also record the same in the case history noting in ITBA.

CPC faulty computation resulting in bogus demands

CPC computation is wrong in majority of cases. despite giving AOs computation CPC refused to give credit to deduction u/s Ch VIA; resulting in bogus demand.

It has been clarified that this type of Question is generally due to data entry error made by the user. Extensive FAQs and training session to guide the user regarding computation aspect has been provided and will be continued on ongoing basis.

CPC not giving credit to Advance Tax and Self Assessment tax

It has been reported that CPC not giving credit to Advance Tax and Self Assessment tax while computing Tax, even though corresponding challans are available in OLTAS.

It has been clarified that CPC is allowing credit available under 26AS if the same is claimed in ITR and/or allowed by AO. Therefore, if even now the Question is faced, the details of specific cases will be required to be shared through Heldesk Ticket, for verifying the issues, and share it with CPC.

In addition cases, loss income is ignored and addition is showing as positive income

It has been clarified that  proper data entry is required to be done in Schedule BP, schedule OI etc. The schedule CYLA, BFA, BFLA also needs to be correctly filled. Still if there are any doubts, tickets should be immediately lodged with the Help desk. The actual losses being allowed by AO to be setoff has to be entered. So the AO needs to edit the figure claimed as loss by assessee and replace it by the loss figure that is being allowed based on the finding in the assessment order.

Notice u/s 133(6) issued to bank going to Assessee

If notices, letters are issued to third party, the PAN of that party and not of the assessee should be entered. On the screen for issue of notice u/s 133(6), PAN is not a mandatory field. If PAN of the third party is not available, notice can be issued by filling the address. AO should not enter the PAN of the assessee while preparing the notice u/s 133(6) but provide PAN of the party to whom the 133(6) is issued.

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