As per my own calculations and as per the tax calculations of my employer, I was not required to pay any income tax. All my tax dues for the year was already deducted at source. In fact I had to get some tax refund. But almost a year later, I got a notice from the IT central processing zone at Bangalore for payment of additional tax with interest which was not actually due any way. It was due to an error that had happened while I entered my digits on the computerized return form.
Now best part of this was that the IT department does not allow any system of online communications or online corrections of such mistakes. All that they authoritatively instruct is to meed some local IT official. It is common knowledge in India that no government official could be met for resolving your problems at one go. That means taking leave from the office for a number of days in search of an invisible official and to dance according to his whims and fancies!
For what purpose, the government wants the IT returns to be filed from the ordinary employees who are the only genuine tax payers of the country? They have nothing to hide. Even if they hide some, it would be so minor or negligible things of least consequences! Why cann't the tax people leave the salaried people (including they themselves) and be satisfied with the tax already deducted at source and forget about the IT return? In reality, this kind of IT return filing overloads the computer networks and the office systems of the tax people for no real benefits to any one. It causes huge loss of productive time by both the tax officials and the individual salaried class people.
In my opinion, unless the people have major tax refunds to be obtained or major additional taxes to be paid due to genuine reasons, Income Tax Returns (ITR) filing should not be mandatory. Non filing of an ITR by any PAN holder whose taxes have been deducted at source should be deemed as equivalent to filing of the ITR. Only those who have to pay additional tax due to extra incomes or those who have to get refunds should be required to file ITRs.
This one decision would make the central government popular and progressive in the eyes of the people. By doing this, the tax officials would get more time to pursue those of the other categories more closely for higher recovery of income tax.
The salaried class and the pensioners of India would feel relieved and obliged to their political leadership if it could make the taxation bureaucrats to effect this change in the Indian IT rules.
At least that is perhaps the simplest gesture that they can do, till they could do away with income tax and get some other easier taxation in its place such as the transaction tax that I suggested some time ago.
Taxation laws need to be people friendly in any progressive nation and abolishing of the mandatory ITR filing for employees and pensioners is a very simple step that any people friendly government should think of implementing.