Prime Minister Narendra Modi has positioned India to participate more constructively with a fast-expanding area that is seeing increasing trade and competition by establishing new routes for outer space collaboration with the US and Quad partners—Australia and Japan—in Washington last week. Delhi's renewed strategic interest in space is based on the understanding of two key developments. One is the importance of new technologies in creating the global order of the twenty-first century. The other is the pressing need to write new laws for achieving peace and stability in space.

India and its Quad partners have defined a far bigger technological strategy that includes space collaboration. Modi and President Joe Biden issued a joint statement after bilateral talks, urging India and the US to continue and expand their partnership in new domains and many areas of critical and emerging technology — space, cyber, health security, semiconductors, AI, 5G, 6G and future generation telecommunications technology, and blockchain, that will define innovation processes, and the economic and political landscape in India and the United States.

Mandatory quotation of PAN for certain transactions, linkage of PAN and Aadhaar, online filing of tax returns, and other measures have been implemented with the goal of increasing transparency and gathering broad-based data. The power of digital has been efficiently used to connect with taxpayers, facilitate taxpayer compliance, reduce the administrative burden on tax administration, and help in information sharing between/with tax authorities. This has aided authorities in their transition to "Limited assessments," in which the questions asked throughout the assessment process are limited to specified and designated topics.

The new taxation gateway

On June 7, 2021, the new Income Tax Portal was released. The new e-filing platform is designed to provide taxpayers with a convenient and seamless experience.

Many new and improved features have been added to the new e-filing portal 2.0 (incometax.gov.in) to broaden the information available on the website, give an informative taxpayer dashboard, enable interactive answer to inquiries, and aid in a more comfortable e-filing experience. The portal also offers online tax payment, free and interactive income tax return preparation software, step-by-step instructions on submitting the tax return, PAN and Aadhaar linkage, and the ability to amend particular data pertaining to both.

Leaving aside the technical issues that arose during the changeover, the portal has significantly extended the options offered in terms of tax return filing and related services.

Changing scenario of income tax landscape due to adoption of e-filing

E-filing has improved the convenience, accuracy, and speed with which returns are processed, as well as providing prompt confirmation/acknowledgement of the return filing. A slew of value-added services, such as providing a visual representation of taxes paid/taxes withheld/refunds received via the Form 26AS, refund tracking, SMS alerts about processing and refunds, automated reminders for tax payments and tax filings, and so on, have all aided taxpayers in their quest for simpler compliance.

Taxpayers may utilise the online assistance and user guides to aid them with anything from tax registration to responding to notices and filing appeals.

The advantages of digitalisation

Minimizing tax administration expenses and expanding the taxpayer base are two of the projected benefits. The data gathered assists the government in focusing on areas where tax compliance may be lacking. From the standpoint of the taxpayer, all compliance responsibilities may be met through a single portal, including tax registration, payment of taxes, filing of tax returns, replying to questions, submitting grievances and appeals, and so on.