Taxpayers filing their income tax returns this year will have to share their e-mail IDs and mobile phone numbers with the tax department.
The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), the administrative authority of the I-T department, has introduced a new column in the I-T return Forms asking for filer's personal e-mail ID and mobile number.
"A valid e-mail ID and mobile number has to be registered on the e-filing website of the Income Tax Department so that direct communication with taxpayer can be possible," CBDT said in a statement today.
Whenever the taxpayer changes the mobile number or e-mail ID in their profile, the process will be repeated to ensure that the particulars provided are correct, it added.
To ensure that family members and related business concerns not having personal e-mail or mobile can be covered under a common e-mail or mobile, the department said that one mobile number or e-mail ID can be used for a maximum of 10 user accounts as the primary contact- mobile number and e-mail ID in e-Filing.
The taxpayer can enter any other person's e-mail or mobile number in addition, as a secondary contact, it added.
Till now, taxpayers had to mention similar details of their CAs or tax filing helpers in the existing column asking for personal details of the filer.
In case, a taxpayer changes his CA or is not in touch with him, it was found, any communication made by the I-T to the taxpayer used to languish without reaching the desired person.
The department advised that e-mails and SMSes from the Income tax Department may be included in the 'safe list' or 'white list' to prevent the communications from the department from being blocked or rejected or sent to Spam folder.
The department, which is facing issues of pending refunds, has designed the new I-T forms so that in case of emergency a tax officer could directly get in touch with the individual tax filer.
The new measures have been implemented both for e-filers and manual filers of I-T returns.