Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday directed information technology company Infosys to address the grievances of taxpayers on priority at a meeting to discuss technical problems on the Income Tax department’s new e-filing website.
In 2019, Infosys had been given a contract to develop the new website to reduce processing time for tax returns from 63 days to one day and expedite refunds.
Sitharaman told Infosys at the meeting that glitches on the website were affecting taxpayers adversely.
“The finance minister exhorted Infosys (service provider) to work on the tax portal to make it more humane and user-friendly and expressed her deep concern on the various problems being faced by the stakeholders in the new portal which was expected to provide a seamless experience to taxpayers,” the Ministry of Finance quoted Sitharaman as saying.
Sitharaman directed the company to “address all issues without further loss of time and improve their services”, the ministry added.
The government said it had received more than 700 e-mails about 2,000 glitches on the portal.
Infosys Chief Executive Officer Salil Parekh and Chief Operating Officer Pravin Rao acknowledged the technical difficulties and informed the government that they were working to fix them.
“They [Infosys] have augmented the resources for execution of the project on the hardware as well as the application side and some of the issues have already been identified and fixed,” the finance ministry said.
Infosys informed the government that the remaining difficulties related to e-proceedings, Form 15CA/15CB, Tax Deducted at Source statements, Digital Signature Certificate and viewing of past Income Tax Returns would be resolved in a week.
The new tax portal developed by Infosys was launched on June 7 with a host of new features for taxpayers. However, users said certain features were taking longer than usual to load and took to social media to complain about the glitches.
Taking note of the complaints, Sitharaman tweeted asking Infosys and its chairperson Nandan Nilekani to fix the problems.
Hours later, Nilekani said that his company “regrets the glitches” and was working to resolve them. Responding to Sitharaman’s post, Nilekani said that he expected the system to stabilise during the week.
The new URL of the tax filing website, https://www.incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in/home, replaced the long-existing http://incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in.
The Bengaluru-headquartered company had also developed the government’s Goods and Services Tax Network portal. In 2020, the government took exception to the firm’s “tardy” progress in resolving glitches.