E-filling your income tax! Easy,Better,fast & Reliable

July 8, 2011   ·   0 Comments

E-filing and e-payment have garnered interest among not just individual taxpayers, but also corporate taxpayers, for service tax, excise tax and various other levies.  The government has made e-filing mandatory for assesses who have paid total service or excise tax of Rs10 lakh (or more) in the preceding financial year. E-filing for individuals is not mandatory, but no one can predict the future. How should you go about filing returns if you were to do it all by yourself?

There are some websites dedicated for individual e-filing. They have services for tax advisors to undertake tax filing for their clients. Some also cater to small and medium businesses’ tax needs. Taxspanner.com offers a professional review for individual tax filing. Many allow use of their website to complete the tax form for free.  Payment to the website will be needed to file the tax returns or to create a file that can be uploaded to the Income-Tax (I-T) Department’s website.

E-filing can be done through chartered accountants (CAs) as well, a few of whom may be authorised ‘e-return intermediaries’, as designated by the I-T Department. If the CA is not an authorised e-return intermediary, he can also avail the services of websites (which are meant for individuals) that we are discussing here.

Individuals can carry out e-filing by themselves, in a couple of ways. You can file directly with the I-T Department by creating a personal login account at incometaxindia.gov.in. However, there is little online help or customer service available and the software is not really user-friendly.  You can also use private online e-filing intermediaries, which help you with the filing process with a real-time help desk, by means of a live chat or over the phone. The costs for these services range from nil to Rs800 for filing one person’s returns.

Some websites like taxshax.com, taxmunshi.com, elagaan.com and taxyogi.com are not authorised e-returns intermediaries. However, they can help you complete your tax returns and output the tax return file that you can upload at incometaxindia.gov.in.

A few sites like taxyogi.com provide value-added services like tax-planning tips for the future and live chat. Moneylife visited the site for a week, but live chat did not work-maybe because it is still not the season for tax filings. Websites like taxsmile.com, taxspanner.com, taxeworld.com, myitreturn.com and easyitfiling.com are authorised e-return intermediaries. They can upload your tax return file to the I-T Department, once you authorise them to do so, after completing the tax returns on an online basis.

Easyitfiling.com is a website that has been developed and maintained by an association of software engineers, who have more than 10 years’ experience in information technology. This site enables all individual taxpayers to file I-T returns online (incredibly, for free).
Taxspanner.com has an excellent tutorial to make the process easier. Some portals allow you to email a scanned copy of your Form 16 and other documents so that they can fill the form on your behalf, but data sent by email is unsecure.

Sr No. Site Tax filing for I-T from For NRI’s Help &Support Authorised by I-T Dept. Provides Tax Advice (How to save tax) Direct e-filing done RatesIn Rs
Salary Business & Profession
1 taxshax.com Yes No No email, phone No No No 181, 324, 524
2 taxsmile.com Yes No Yes email, phone Yes No Yes 250, 400 +Taxes
3 taxspanner.com Yes Yes No email Yes Yes (For advanced plans) Yes 249, 449, 749
4 taxmunshi.com Yes No No email No No No 199
5 elagaan.com Yes Yes Yes email, phone No Yes (At additional cost) No Free for upto 3L, 179, 279, 749
6 taxyogi.com Yes No No Chat, email, phone No Yes (For advanced plans) No 149, 499
7 rupeetalk.com (associated with taxsmile.com) Yes No No email, phone No No Yes 199
8 incomeindiatax.gov.in Yes Yes Yes email, phone Yes No Yes Free
9 taxeworld.com Yes No No email, phone Yes No Yes 500, 550, 900 +Taxes
10 myitreturn.com Yes No No email, phone Yes No Yes 299
11 easyitfiling.com Yes Yes No email, phone Yes No Yes Free

Typos are possible, when so many numbers are involved. The portals have a ‘preview’ option to verify the details that you have filled in. In some cases, the software even detects a mismatch in numbers and prompts you to carry out the correct option accordingly.

If you are entitled to a tax refund, you need to fill up the required details in the I-T returns (ITR) form. You would either have to provide your bank details or request payment by cheque. Once approved by the I-T Department, the refunded amount is directly credited to your bank account, if you have mentioned your bank details. Otherwise, you will receive a cheque in due course.

Independent of whichever method you use, if after inputting your data, the software calculates that you owe taxes, you will have to pay this tax before you can proceed with the filing. This payment can be made only at an authorised bank. The other option is to visit tin-nsdl.com, select the required chalan and make a payment through Internet banking.  Once you receive a chalan identification number, acknowledging your payment, your taxes are paid.

E-filing can be done with or without a Digital Signature Certificate (DSC). If you want to e-file with a DSC, you have to procure it after submitting attested documents such as ID proof and application forms.
This will cost you between Rs400 to Rs1,500. It takes a minimum of five working days to get one shipped to you. At present, there is no other use for a DSC, other than for signing your e-returns. So, there is limited utility of a DSC today. It is only issued for validity period of one or two years. If you use a DSC, you will not need to physically send the ITR Verification (ITR-V).

The I-T Department has made the ITR-V deposit process very convenient for assessees.  If you do not use DSC, you will have to mail the signed ITR-V to the Income-Tax Department CPC, Post Bag No-1, Electronic City Post Office, Bengaluru-560100, Karnataka, within 30 days after the date of transmitting the data electronically.

Don’t forget that whenever you share sensitive financial information, you carry an inherent risk. Always check for the security certificate and use the same amount of caution as you would have used while banking on the Net.

Rajesh Singla

Rajesh is the founder & CEO of Stockssavvy, Stocks analyst,financial advisor by choice,software engineer by fate,biker,gamer,cricket lover n enthusiastic person. He believes in doing things not just to get by but to get Ahead...

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