E-filing of income tax return was introduced by Income tax department couple of years ago. Using e-filing is a simple and very easy way of filing the return for everyone. However, if you look at stats only 16% of tax payers file their return through e-filing while the rest of the tax payers take the conventional physical route.
There are several reasons for that, one being the penetration of computers and accessibility of internet is very low in certain parts of India. However, even in large metros where the accessibility of Internet is very much, only 30-35 percent of the tax payers opt for filing their taxes online.
Thus the real problem is not the poor internet access or non availability of computer. It is the mindset and misconception of the people which they have about filing their tax returns online. Some of the common myths regarding e-filing income tax returns are as follows:
Myth: Need Digital signature for e-filing the income tax return.
Reality: You need digital signature only when you file your return completely online. You don't need one if you e-file your return and then post a signed ITR V form to the income-tax office in Bangalore. The new rule, which requires a taxpayer to send the ITR V by post within 120 days, has made the submission process very simple and convenient.
Myth: More chances of scrutiny for the electronically filed returns.
Reality: This is purely a fictitious assumption. Every year income tax department pull out random list of people to scrutinize. Whether the person has filed income tax returns electronically or through traditional paper filing method have no bearing on this list. In fact, digital filing can help in automatically tallying Returns Particulars filed by you and that filed by your Employer, Banks and other Financial Institutions.
Myth: E-filing cost while physical return doesn't cost anything.
Reality: E-filing through the government site is free but it's difficult to use in terms of usability. Some private portals also offer free filing. For example you can avail free e-filing at www.taxyogi.com. Others offer various packages. Alternately a lot of people utilise the service of tax professionals and chartered accountants which may be much more expensive. Also, consider the cost of your time and the environmental cost that mother earth pays for every return that is filed physically. E-filing is also an environment friendly way.
Myth: Cannot revise the return if filed electronically.
Reality: E-filed returns can be revised in the same way as those filed in any other manner. All e-filing portals allow you to file revised tax returns.
Myth: E-filing is unsafe.
Reality: All registered e-filing portals send the tax returns uploaded by assesses to the Income Tax Department. The government website uses the latest software to make it fully secure. For example www.taxyogi.com uses 128 bit encryption to transmit data. There is very little chance of it being hacked.
Conclusion: E-filing has made filing the return so simple and easy that any individual can file his return any time anywhere by just few clicks. You just need to fill a simple form and submit. Once you try it out, there is no going back to the old ways!