Income tax return filing to get easier, e-filing to go paperless

  • Timsy Jaipuria, Hindustan Times, Bengaluru
  • Updated: Mar 25, 2015 19:22 IST

The income tax (I-T) department is considering various measures to ease taxpayers' compliance norms, including doing away with mandatory submission of hard copies of returns, by as early as this year. At present, taxpayers have to submit the copies for verification despite filing returns electronically.

"It could be as early as by the next cycle of filing returns, which is by July 2015," a senior official said.

At present, a taxpayer has to post the signed documents to the centralised processing centre (CPC) in Bangalore , after which it is verified. The I-T department then takes a minimum of one month to process the return.

"After the mandatory compliance is phased out, the processing will become faster, and reduce taxpayers' complaints," the official added.

According to official sources, the department is also planning to introduce provisions such as electronic signatures and mentioning of Aadhar number for e-filing of returns. This would help the department consider e-returns as a verified document, thereby reducing the processing time, or in simple terms, computation and issuance of refunds. As of now, the maximum number of complaints received by the department is mainly about delays in processing returns and issuing refunds.

The I-T Act gives a provision of submitting these documents by up to 120 days, which according to the official, leads to delays that can be extended by to up to two years.

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