How to file a tax return on the new electronic filing portal and its main features
The government launched the new Income Tax Portal as part of its digitization journey and with the aim of making compliance easier for taxpayers.
Here are some cool features of the new portal:
- Connection to the portal is now compatible with Aadhaar and TAN in addition to PAN.
- Password reset is now easier with OTP generated through mobile number linked to Aadhaar – OTP to emails have been dropped.
- Introduction of static passwords – dramatically improving ease of use when taxpayers find themselves within low range of the mobile network while having to perform tax transactions that normally require OTPs.
- To help taxpayers avoid logging into a phishing website, the ability to add a personalized message in the “Your Profile” section that acts as a “secure access message” upon login has been enabled. .
- A comprehensive dashboard has been set up, allowing taxpayers to identify pending actions, the status of grievances filed, annual tax returns, taxes filed, etc. Although these features were previously available under different tabs, their organization under a single dashboard has been improved. ease of navigation.
- The âYour Profileâ tab has been made more detailed and includes an edit option for citizenship. This would be of great help to taxpayers (especially overseas Indian citizens) who had to file a letter with the tax officer to update the change of citizenship in the PAN database.
- The profile section also includes an option to update details such as bank accounts (and mark the bank account to which the refund should be credited), mat accounts, income sources that will be used to pre-fill their RTI after the filing of the necessary declarations by other stakeholders such as employers, banks, etc. This would help taxpayers avoid updating this information from year to year in their tax returns.
- Taxpayers have the option to add their chartered accountants who would be able to view the details and take the necessary actions on behalf of the taxpayer, such as filing grievances, filing Form 15CB, etc. after access has been provided to them by taxpayers. The taxpayer can also authorize another person to act on his behalf if he is unable to act alone for specific reasons.
- Taxpayers have the option of authenticating notices / orders / letters issued by tax authorities on the portal home page. This would help them verify that the communication received is genuine and prevent them from acting on fraudulent reviews.
Filing of tax returns
As before, the filing of income tax returns is available in both online and offline modes. Taxpayers who have many data points to fill out would prefer the offline mode, as a session timeout is 40 minutes.
Here are the steps to follow to file and submit the RTI via the online mode:
1: Log in to the portal (https: // www. Incometax.gov.in/iec/foportal) and navigate to e-File> Income Tax Returns> File Income Tax Return
2: Select “Valuation year”, “Type of deposit”, “Status” as appropriate
3: Select Continue if you are sure of the ITR type or you can click âcontinueâ to help you find your ITR
4: Once you have selected the RTI, select the reason for deposit and fill in the applicable fields of the RTI and make payment if applicable
5: Click on the preview and submit the return
6. Click on proceed to verification
7. Select the verification mode
8: Enter EVC / OTP to verify ITR OR Send signed ITR V to CPC for verification.
For offline collation, the JSON utility must be downloaded because the excel / java utility has been discontinued.
Overall, the new portal offers a refreshing feel and has provided a wider bouquet of services under one roof. Improvements to existing IT repositories are a welcome initiative. The introduction of chatbot and mobile apps would go a long way in facilitating compliance and improving the taxpayer experience.
(By Saraswathi Kasturirangan, Partner, Deloitte India; Vijay Bharech, Senior Director, and Priyanka Bhutada, Deputy Director at Deloitte Haskins and Sells LLP)