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Tax Department Grapples with Glitches in Advance Tax Campaign

 With respect to the income tax department’s latest campaign urging taxpayers to pay advance tax in alignment with their financial transactions, a glitch in securities market data has prompted a temporary hold on updates.

Following feedback from taxpayers regarding the e-campaign for advance tax, the tax department acknowledged discrepancies in the Securities Market (SFT-17) data given by a reporting entity. The Central Board of Direct Taxes stated, ‘The reporting entity has been asked to provide a revised statement based on updated information. Hence, the data on AIS (Annual Information Statement) will be updated. Taxpayers are advised to wait for further updates on AIS based on the revised statement.’

The issue stemmed from data sharing challenges between Central Depository Services (India) or CDSL and the tax department. Users noted instances where figures were inflated due to erroneous additions of one or two zeros. Efforts are underway to rectify the problem promptly, with the final instalment of advance tax due by Friday.

One chartered accountant highlighted the impact, stating, ‘The value of assets sold has been increased by two zeros, for example, one share of ₹450 of ITC is shown as ₹45,000/- and property sold of ₹1.2 crore is shown as ₹12 crore, resulting in huge advance tax!’

Despite previous checks, the glitches were not detected during test runs. Over the years, authorities have encouraged taxpayers to review their AIS to foster voluntary compliance. AIS, an extension of Form 26AS, encompasses various financial activities, including property purchases, investments, TDS and TCS transactions, interest accruals, dividends, and GST turnover.

The tax department assures taxpayers of a swift resolution to the data discrepancies, emphasising the importance of accurate financial reporting for tax compliance. The income tax department’s recent mishaps during the advance tax campaign highlight how crucial proper financial reporting and data integrity are. These kinds of events bring to light the difficulties in adhering to tax compliance laws and the vital requirement for reliable systems that can quickly identify and fix mistakes. 

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Akash G Varadaraj