Income Tax department has activated the Aadhaar and net banking-based e-filing verification system for taxpayers to file the first appeal before a tax officer, on similar lines of online ITR filing.
In order to reduce the interface between taxman and the taxpayer, the department has recently operationalised the maiden facility on its official e-filing portal.
"One EVC can be used to validate one form of the assesse irrespective of the assessment year. The EVC will be stored against the assesse PAN along with other verification details.
The EVC will be valid for 72 hours or as otherwise specified," a notification in this regard said.
The Electronic Verification Code (EVC) works by way of generating a personalised OTP by using the Aadhaar database or the net banking identity of a filer or entity. The OTP is subsequently sent to the personal email id or mobile phone of the filer for validation and subsequent process of filing.
The facility of filing the appeal form, like filing Income Tax Returns (ITRs), can also be done using a digital signature on the official web portal of the tax department --http://incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in/.
The existing two-page document used for this, called 'Form No. 35', has been re-formatted by the department recently so that it can be electronically uploaded on the said e-filing portal.
In the new e-form, an applicant or taxpayer seeking appeal against an Assessing Officer's order has been given an avenue to append 'Statement of Facts' in 1,000 words as also furnish the grounds of appeal in another 100 words.
Documentary evidence can also be appended to the new form by an assess using the internet-based facility.
The IT department has four stages of appeal mechanism for the assessees to put forth their grievance beginning with the Commissioner of IT (Appeals), the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal (ITAT), the High Court and finally the Supreme Court.
The new form is applicable for the CIT (Appeal) fora and those taxpayers who file e-returns will be eligible to use this new facility.
In view of launch of this facility and activation of a select category of ITRs last week, the taxman had also asked filers to "update their profile and select higher security option to secure their e-filing account" created over the portal.
"Electronic filing of appeal along with the documents relied upon before CIT (Appeals) will remove human interface, reduce paperwork and decrease the transaction cost for the taxpayer. It would ensure consistent and error-free service as validations will be in-built, resulting in fewer deficient appeals. Online filing will also facilitate fixation of hearing of appeals electronically.
"The new format for filing of appeals is more structured, objective, systematic and aligned with the current provisions of the Income Tax Act," the Central Board of Direct Taxes had earlier said.
With these changes, it had said, the "burden of compliance on the taxpayers in appellate proceedings will be significantly reduced.