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The income tax department has launched an app, Aaykar Setu that facilitates taxpayers to understand taxation and provides solutions to many of their queries. The app was launched in July 2017 by the then finance minister, Arun Jaitley. The app is a part of the Digital India initiative and follows the other apps such as MyGov, Digi Locker, and ePathshala.

  1. What you need to know about the app?
  2. Utilities of the app
  3. Other information
  4. Illustration

1. What you need to know about the app?

The term ‘aaykar’ means taxpayer and ‘setu’ means bridge. The app acts as a bridge between the government and the taxpayer. It is a free app available for android users on the Google Play Store. You install the app and choose to register your mobile number with the app. Also, you can link your 12-digit Aadhaar and 10-digit PAN to your account.

The app serves as a guide to the taxpayer. The app enables taxpayers to understand the process, know the utilities available at the income tax website and file tax for themselves instead of relying on others for help. Also, the app is simple to use for the convenience of taxpayers of all classes and age.

2. Utilities of the app

  • Ask IT: A chatbot provides answers to your queries in a short time. The facility is available from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. You can seek its help for queries related to PAN, TAN, TDS, return filing, refund status, and tax payments.

  • Live Chat: Your queries will be answered by tax experts on a live chat.

  • TPS Vertical: You can locate the nearby Taxpayer Service (TPS) offices.

  • Tax Tools: The feature provides a way for quick tax calculation.

  • TRP at your doorstep: Locate the nearest Tax Return Preparer.

  • PAN: Apply for PAN online.

  • Tax Payment: Pay your taxes online.

  • Tax Gyaan: This is a game for users to learn about income tax. The game consists of multiple choice questions with four difficulty levels such as Beginner, Normal, Hard, and Difficult.

  • 3. Other information

    The app keeps you up-to-date on tax dates and forms to be used for various purposes. You will receive SMS alerts on the registered mobile number.

    It also offers services such as tax payment, refund application, grievance redressal, guide to viewing TDS details, Form 16 and more.

    4. Illustration

    Consider that Mr V, aged 55 years, heard about the app from an acquaintance and has installed it on his smartphone. He has registered on the app with his mobile number. Now, he can receive all the updates from the income tax department via SMS.

    Mr.V opens the ‘Ask IT’ option on the app and enters his query regarding the calculation of income tax. Since he uses the feature at 2 p.m. the chatbot provides response to his query and provides all the required information. On the other hand, if Mr V had tried to chat on Ask IT at 7.30 p.m., he would not receive any response as the feature is active from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

    Arun Jaitley, the then Finance Minister, said that the app will reduce the physical interface between assessing officer (AO) and assessees, while physical interface can be time consuming and lead to improprieties.

    The app has already reduced a lot of interface and has made compliance easy. This digital initiative facilitates filing of ITR in a user friendly manner. It also facilitates tracking of the status of the ITR, income tax refunds and income tax notices for a taxpayer. This, this app is a useful step in reducing the interface between the taxpayer and the Income tax department.

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