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Indian government reverts to manual tax filings as new e-tax portal remains badly borked a week after launch

Infosys-built service was promised to "make the compliance experience more taxpayer friendly"

India’s Income Tax Department has acknowledged that its shiny new e-tax portal broke, badly, by authorising an extension for some tax filings and reverting to manual processing of printed documents.

The new portal went live on June 8, and promptly proved sub-optimal, with would-be users complaining that it just didn’t work.

India’s Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman, quickly pointed the finger at the site’s developer, Indian services giant Infosys. Complaints have poured in ever since. The Register has found countless gripes on social media, with complaints mentioning the portal simply not loading or lacking useful functionality. Those who have made it in, and logged problems, say their incident number has proven useless.

Infosys has said nothing about the situation in public.

India’s Government has issued a statement that some filings will revert to manual processes.

“In view of the difficulties reported by taxpayers in electronic filing of Income Tax Forms 15CA/15CB on the portal, it has been decided that taxpayers can submit the aforesaid Forms in manual format to the authorized dealers till June 30th, 2021,” the statement reads.

When the new portal launched, Minister Sitharaman described it as “an important milestone to make the compliance experience more taxpayer friendly. In the service of the nation.”

That description may not have been entirely apt, and the mess makes a mockery of the ruling BJP’s claim to be a modernising force that will reform India’s infamously slow-moving bureaucracy.

At the time of writing neither India’s government nor Infosys have detailed the problems with the portal nor advised of a time for its restoration. The Register has approached both for comment. ®

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