The department wanted to move away from siloed applications and manual processes.
The Department of Income Tax under Ministry of Finance, Government of India, is responsible for enforcing taxation policies laid down by the government. A legacy setup marked by data silos, paper-based applications, and manual processes was making it rather difficult for the department to function effectively, with taxpayers and officials having to invest a disproportionate amount of time and effort in the tax filing process.
The department was looking for a comprehensive digital platform to improve the filing process and widen the tax base. Such a platform would house all statutory and regulatory guidelines in one place to ensure full transparency and visibility to all stakeholders. The department sought a mechanism to digitally verify returns and drive all communication and interactions through a single window. Other key requirements were to streamline the process of applying for and issuing instant PAN cards – Permanent Account Number for tax identity, and ensure tight integration with various sub-systems and banks.
With TCS as partner, the Income Tax Department executed landmark digital transformation.
TCS embarked on this transformation program in 2012, and by 2020, the IT department’s portal had over 100 features. While a 15% tax payer base used to file their returns electronically, that figure had zoomed to 85% by the end of FY21. All IT forms (basic and statutory) were digitized and available online.
This was one of the largest legacy modernization and system integration projects implemented by TCS and called for data migration of 25 million registered users and 52 million IT returns. TCS implemented a series of solutions to completely revamp the tax filing process from multiple perspectives. On a high-level, the following activities were carried out:
- Procuring, deploying, and maintaining all IT hardware and software infrastructure at primary and BCP data centers.
- Setting up an e-filing facility to run a call center and regular operations.
- Setting up and enabling the technological infrastructure for an electronic filing facility in 100 days.
- Deploying and managing e-filing operations.
- Migrating historical records to the new system.
- Securing ISO and GIGW standard adherence and certification for the e-filing portal.
- Putting in place a 24/7 security operations center.
The single window system accelerated tax filing and processing significantly.
The feature-rich e-filing portal, integrated with the systems of various government departments and banks, has made report filing and assessment a lot more convenient and transparent for all the stakeholders. Be it the single-window, online grievance management system called e-Nivaran, or the electronic verification system for IT returns, this new way of filing taxes has been received very well by the Indian public. The integration of PAN with Aadhar has been instrumental in keeping identity fraud at bay and enhancing the transparency of the overall process.
TCS successfully completed this large-scale digital transformation program in about 15 months and handed over the operations and support to another vendor of the Income Tax Department in October 2020.