End of paper trail in e-filng of I-T returns; Aadhaar added

New Delhi: In a major step aimed at easing taxpayer grievances, Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) on Saturday announced that assessees filing I-T returns online will no longer have to send the paper acknowledgement by post as a new Aadhaar-based electronic verification code has been launched to authenticate this document.

End of paper trail in e-filng of I-T returns; Aadhaar addedRepresentational picture

The CBDT, the apex policy making body of the I-T department, has introduced a new column in the ITRs for 2015-16 where an e-filer can provide his Aadhaar number which will have to be authenticated on the official website of the department via a One Time Password (OTP).

"A new EVC, ie. Electronic Verification Code, has been included as the new mode to verify e-returns. The facility will soon be hosted on the website of the e-filing link of the department. The taxpayers no longer need to send the ITR-V paper document to the CPC in Bengaluru, thus ending the cumbersome process which was robbing the e-filing of its ease and fun," a senior I-T officer told PTI.

The procees, as explained by the officer, will require the e-filer to register his Aadhaar number in the ITR after which the UIDAI database will send an OTP to the registered mobile number of the taxpayer which subsequently will have to be authenticated on the e-filing website.

The I-T Systems Directorate, the officer said, is also in the process of validating net banking identity as the verifier of e-filed I-T returns 'very soon.' The I-T department, through CBDT, had recently decided to completely do away with the 'cumbersome' procedure undertaken currently by a taxpayer to send his or her ITR-V (Verification) form to the department's Central Processing Centre (CPC) based in Bengaluru through post.

A number of taxpayers have earlier complained to the department that despite sending the hard copy of ITR-V by 'speed or registered post' their forms were being acknowledged by CPC as 'not received' and hence the department has since long been looking at options to do away with this system altogether.

As per existing rules, a person who files his or her tax return online has to send a copy of the ITR-V to CPC within 120 days for processing of the return. CBDT had in October last year amended the provisions of the I-T Act and made it easy for the department to undertake these new methods for 'validation' of e-returns.

The new measure will ease the process of quick generation of refunds of taxpayers.

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