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The Tax Department in-line with the broader societal trend towards digitalization has also caught up with the digital wave. E- Filing is a scheme for submitting tax documents to the Income tax department through the internet or direct connection, usually without the need to submit any paper documents. The general aim of e-taxation is to replace cumbersome manual, bureaucratic service systems with collaborative, efficient, process-driven and secure online delivery.

Do it yourself – hassle-free

If you are familiar with tax laws and are internet-savvy, at free of cost, you can easily file your returns on your own on the tax department’s website ( Register yourself and obtain a user ID and generate password to upload the returns. To make it more convenient, keep all the income details ready. The website scores well on convenience as it provides access to all the other information you will need to file your returns, in one place. Links to access your Form 26AS, which has details of the tax deducted at source (TDS) and tax collected at source (TCS) from your income and self-assessment tax paid are available Says CA Amit Kumar Garg, Managing Partner AKGVG & Associates New Delhi.

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 recent times, the department has also added a few features to render the website more user-friendly-

Quick file option – for filing simpler returns such as ITR1 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 while filing the return.

E-filing vault – 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.

Electronic Verification – 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 on-line, 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.

Assisted filing

Although e-filing of returns is a simple process but an individual’s income can constitute of income under several heads which requires proper classification. Improper classification lead to erroneous return, interest and penalties as applicable. Thus, a professional advice from a chartered accountant is recommendatory in such cases