Wherever I go these days, there is only one topic for discussion - the approaching deadline for individual tax returns and the mandatory e-filing requirement.
While change is always difficult, trust me, e-filing is not as complicated as it sounds and is also eco-friendly. Let us see the key features:
- It takes the same time to gather data and documents, as the applicable provisions are the same.
- The form is similar and the same data needs to be filled (of course, the category of individuals who can use the simple Sahaj form has reduced significantly this year). The cells where data is to be filled are then locked for alteration and are colour-coded appropriately. In fact, in the downloaded online forms, accuracy of the data filled can be checked immediately.
- Validation of each sheet reduces the risk of omission of mandatory data and one can validate the tax amount.
- The instructions are provided at all stages, right up to generating the XML file to be uploaded.
- The taxpayer needs to register on the website of the tax office (incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in), just like any other online registration. The login ID is your PAN, so there's no risk of forgetting that. Needless to say, one should remember the password and answer to the secret question.
- If the XML is uploaded with a digital signature, you straight away get an acknowledgement. If the return is uploaded without a digital signature, the web-generated ITR-V needs to be signed as instructed and sent via ordinary post to the Centralised Processing Centre (CPC) in Bangalore within 120 days of filing. Just in case the acknowledgement does not reach the CPC, a timely reminder mail is sent.
- The CPC processes the return and sends the acknowledgement to the taxpayer's email address. Alternatively, taxpayers can login to check the return status.
- E-filing facilitates ease of record-keeping and data-tracking for the department and speeds up grant of refunds for the taxpayer.
- As the acknowledgement is available online, there is no risk of losing the original.
- In addition, of course, there is no need to travel and wait in a long queue outside the tax office. One can e-file the returns from home even after official hours. So, what are you waiting for? Go ahead with the e-filing of your return for faster processing and faster refunds!
Also Read: In Focus: Filing Income Tax Returns