Coming soon, an app to help you file tax returns

  • Timsy Jaipuria, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Aug 27, 2015 09:56 IST

In a bid to make tax filing easier, the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) is exploring to come up with a mobile app that is expected to let users connect and check their tax account wherever they are in the world.

“The CBDT has always wanted to make tax filing easy like we introduced tax calculators for filers to help them calculate the way IT department would assess... Similarly, for the next generation users we are examining the possibility of having an app,” said Anita Kapur, chairperson, CBDT. “The idea is that you’ll be able to file your return from anywhere, anytime, and will be able to pay through net banking.”

Over the period of time, the CBDT has taken several initiatives to make tax filling easier and comfortable, including e-filing, paying up through net-banking, reducing the number of pages of the income tax returns (ITR) form, etc.

Sources, however, said the CBDT is in the early stages of examining the idea of an app due to security reasons. Technology experts say that the app needs to have special security features as in the current format also tax payers do give out their passwords and other relevant information to charted accountants and other professionals for filing taxes on their behalf.

“Indians tend to be fairly blase about their financial security,” said Prasanto K Roy, senior technology journalist. “Even when you file online, it’s usually done through a CA or your tax guy, who invariably get full access to passwords, digital signatures, and other information, which is not very secure to begin with. The access to Form 26A is also insecure because the password is your pan number and date of birth. But one can actually make an app more secure by using things such as two-factor authentication to log in, or setting up a PIN to open the app itself.”

However, if anyone wants to go through confidential tax data, it is unlikely that they will target the app, they will simply target the IT department-backend servers, which is where they need to boost security, he added.

(With inputs from Pranav Dixit)

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