E-file your tax return — it's easy, fast and comfortable | india | Hindustan Times
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E-file your tax return — it's easy, fast and comfortable

With tax filings increasing year after year, the income tax department has been introducing technology initiatives to ensure speedy processing of income tax returns and refunds.

india Updated: Jul 25, 2010 22:50 IST
Ravi Jagannathan

With tax filings increasing year after year, the income tax department has been introducing technology initiatives to ensure speedy processing of income tax returns and refunds.

Initiatives such as e-filing, centralised processing of e-filed returns, communication with assessees through email and text messages etc are essential, given that more than 25 per cent of our population is aged below 25 years. To support these technology initiatives, eRIs (e-Return Intermediaries) such as www.taxsmile.com have developed intuitive do-it-yourself return preparation engines that can help one to prepare and e-file an income tax return. The process of electronically filing income tax returns through the Internet is known as e–filing. Under the process, one can file the return in a hassle-free way with just an internet-enabled PC.

Electronic filing of income tax return is easy and comfortable. By following the step-by-step instructions of the tax preparation portals and entering the income related information one is able to generate the final income tax return and electronically file it within minutes. Upon e-filing, assesses receive an ITR-V form from the income tax department through email. This acknowledges the receipt of the return. By signing and dispatching a copy of this form to the Central Processing Center at Bengaluru one can complete the e-filing process. Alternately, one can digitally sign the income tax return and e-file to eliminate this process of ITR-V.

As in any other form, 80 per cent of the data fields in an income tax return, such as name, address, date of birth, PAN etc, are static. This makes the e-filing process even easier and simpler from the second year onwards.

The figures given by the income tax department seem to suggest this too as 16.7 per cent of the total returns filed in 2008–9 were e–returns, a 100 per cent jump from the previous year.

Filing income tax returns online has brought numerous positive changes in the lives of many assessees and has a number of advantages, which include user-friendly and hassle-free process, accuracy in data for each and every small detail, expert advice, convenience of filing tax return at any time from anywhere. In short, e- filing of income tax is a big relief. Electronic filing is an eco–friendly process as it contributes to saving enormous amounts of paper. The paper consumption by over 31.5 million individual taxpayers last year could have brought down approximately 75,000 trees and this might increase year after year in the absence of any e–filing possibilities.

In future, e–filing will definitely transform the way tax returns are filed. It is the easiest, fastest and greenest way to file returns. The icing on the cake is the recent announcement by the income tax department about faster processing of e-filed returns and crediting of the refunds to bank accounts.

The author is MD and CEO of 3i Infotech Consumer Services.