Filing E-returns will Become Easier

Verifying electronically filed Income-Tax returns will become hassle free with the Government set to provide Electronic PIN (personal identification number or electronic signature).

This new system will benefit nearly 2 crore individual income tax assesees.

Under the proposed system, as soon as the return is filed without a digital signature, an E PIN will be generated. This number will have to be communicated to the Central Processing Centre (CPC), Bangalore. After this, the return will be processed. Hence, the electronic process will be completely free of paper work. E PIN will be generated on the basis of returns filed earlier.

At present, an individual has two options to complete filing of I-T return electronically.

The first is to file the return using digital signature and then it (return) will be processed.

The second option is for those who do not have digital signature: the assessees, after filing the return, will have to download and print ITR V (verification) form and then send it to the CPC within 120 days of filing the returns. After, CPC acknowledges the receipt through an e-mail, filing gets completed and then the return gets processed.

“The Income-Tax Department intends to use electronic verification in place of paper ITR V. This needs change in the Information Technology Act and Income Tax Rules. Income Rules have been amended, while amendment in Information Technology Act is expected by September,” R.K. Mishra, Commissioner of Income Tax (CPC), told visiting journalists from Delhi.

It means, most of the e-filers will benefit from the new system from 2014-15.

The second option poses a number of problems, such as loss of verification form in postal transit and in some cases, willingly or unwillingly non-submission of the form. The Department says that nearly 10 per cent of the e-filers do not send the verification form.

At the same time, obtaining and renewing the digital signature involves a fee. Keeping, all these things in mind, the Department has started work on electronic verification.

From this year, e-filing has become mandatory for anyone earning more than Rs 5 lakh annually.

“Since, a person, earning less than Rs 5 lakh annually does not need to file return (except, those who have other income or those who have to get refund), it is now mandatory to file return electronically for everyone. Keeping this in mind, the new system will help assessees,” Satish Kumar Goyal, Commissioner of Income Tax (Officer on Special Duty), said.

Currently, there are 3.4 crore income tax assessees. Out of this 2.14 crore filed the return electronically in 2012-13. Now, the Income-Tax Department is expecting 2.75 crore e-returns in 2013-14.

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