I-T dept to do away with hard copy verification of e-filing

The income tax department is considering various measures, including doing away with the mandatory submission of hard copies of returns and introduction of a new customer verification norm, in order to ease taxpayers' compliance norms.

At present, taxpayers have to submit the copies for verification despite filing returns electronically.

The I-T department is set to introduce a new customer verification system by sending `One Time Passwords', validating net banking identity and enrolling Aadhaar number in the returns form. These measures are expected as early as this year.

"It could be as early as by the next cycle of filing returns, which is by July 2015," a senior official said.

At present, a taxpayer has to post the signed documents to the centralised processing centre (CPC) in Bangalore, after which it is verified. The I-T department then takes a minimum of one month to process the return.

The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has decided to completely do away with the "cumbersome" procedure of the taxpayer sending ITR-V (Verification) form to the department's Central Processing Centre (CPC) based in Bangalore through post.

"We are fast moving towards a regime where the taxpayer will not have to send the paper acknowledgement of the ITR-V (Income Tax Return Verification).

"We want to make e-filing completely hassle-free and easy for taxpayers," CPC director and IT commissioner R K Mishra told a group of visiting journalists here.

"After the mandatory compliance is phased out, the processing will become faster, and reduce taxpayers' complaints," the official added.

The department is also planning to introduce provisions such as electronic signatures and mentioning of Aadhar number for e-filing of returns. These would help the department consider e-returns as a verified document, thereby reducing the processing time.