The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has introduced a new column in the I-T return forms asking for filer's personal e-mail ID and mobile number and taxpayers filing income tax returns from this year will have to share their e-mail IDs and mobile phone numbers with the tax department.
''A valid e-mail ID and mobile number has to be registered / updated on the e-filing website of the Income Tax Department so that direct communication with taxpayer can be possible,'' CBDT said in an official release today.
''The department will send separate one time passwords (OTP) also referred as PIN on the mobile and email provided by the taxpayer. The OTPs have to be entered by the taxpayer after logging into their e-filing account to authenticate the same. The OTPs will remain valid for 24 hours within which the taxpayer has to complete the process. For 'foreign / NRI' taxpayers, the OTP validation of the email ID would be sufficient.
CBDT said the validation of email and mobile numbers has been introduced to facilitate taxpayers as in many cases incorrect emails and mobile numbers have been provided and taxpayers did not receive important communication from the department. Further, it has been observed that in many cases taxpayers are not able to reset their password since the new temporary password from the department may be sent to their registered e-mail which may be different from the taxpayer's personal email, eg, e-mail of their intermediary.
This is a one-time process to validate the mobile number and e-mail ID. However, whenever the taxpayer changes the mobile number or email ID in their profile, the process will have to be repeated to ensure that the particulars provided are correct, the release said. Further, this validation will ensure that the department can send an OTP for resetting the password used for login in case the taxpayer has forgotten the password, it added.
One mobile number or email ID can be used for a maximum of 10 user accounts as the primary contact - mobile number and email ID in e-filing. This is to ensure that family members and related business concerns (not exceeding 10 separate users) not having personal email or mobile can be covered under a common email or mobile, but in general taxpayers should have their own unique e-mail ID and mobile registered with the department.
The taxpayer can enter any other person's e-mail or mobile number in addition, as a secondary contact (without any restriction on the number of user accounts linked as a secondary contact). Using ''Profile Settings à My Profile'' the taxpayer can select to include the secondary contact to also receive e-mails, alerts etc.
CBDT has advised taxpayers that the emails and SMS from the Income tax Department may be included in the 'safe list' or 'white list' to prevent the communications from the department from being blocked or rejected or sent to spam folder.
''Taxpayers are also advised not to share their user-ID and password of their e-filing account with others to prevent un-authorised access. Taxpayers can reset their password using the 'Forgot Password?' link while logging in to their e-filing account and by providing the necessary details.
The department has requested the cooperation of all taxpayers for completing this validation process at the earliest for a smooth and convenient return filing process.