02 Jul 2017 13:52 IST

Self e-filing made easy

You can view your earlier returns

If you know a bit about tax laws and are internet-savvy, you can easily file your returns on your own in the tax department’s website (www.incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in), free of cost. You just need to register yourself and obtain a user ID ( which is the PAN) and password to fill up and upload your return.

Once you have your income details ready, the website scores well on convenience as it provides access to all other information you would need to file your returns, in one place. Links to access your Form 26AS which has details about TDS and TCS cuts from your income and e-pay self-assessment tax are available.

You can also view your earlier returns, their processing status, outstanding tax demand if any, refund status, ITR V (Acknowledgement) receipt status and details about your assessing officer in this website.

In recent times, the department has also added some features to make the website more user-friendly. It has provided a ‘quick file’ option for simpler returns such as ITR 1 and ITR 4. Choosing this option enables pre-filling of all possible fields in the ITR form, from the PAN Database or previous returns filed. This helps you save time when filing the return.

To increase security, a second-level authentication for your login has been introduced through a feature called the ‘e-filing vault’. This feature can be enabled under the ‘profile settings’ tab when you log into your e-filing account. Once you do this, you can choose to log into your e-filing account through options such as net banking and Aadhaar-based OTP, instead of just the user ID and password.

To make the e-filing process completely online and save the hassle of posting the ITR V Acknowledgement form through snail mail, electronic verification has also been introduced. Once your return is filed online, the electronic verification code or EVC, which is a 10-digit alpha-numeric code, can be generated.

You can use your net banking account, debit/credit card at an ATM, bank account number and IFSC code, Aadhaar number, demat account number or registered mobile number and email ID (under certain conditions) to generate the EVC. A list of participating banks for the first three options is available on the e-filing website.

From July 1, 2017, linking of Aadhaar with PAN is mandatory if you have an Aadhaar number. Thiscan be done in a jiffy in the e-filing website if the names in both documents match. Option to link Aadhaar with PAN for partial mismatch is also provided here.

(The article first appeared in The Hindu BusinessLine.)

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