Gone are the days when filing tax returns was a Herculean task. Preparing necessary documents, filing forms, standing in long queues and other paraphernalia are things of the past. So, what exactly has changed in these years in the process of filing income tax returns?
Plenty, to say the least. Briefly, technology has brought immense changes in the form of speed, accuracy and convenience for taxpayers.
Online filing of income tax returns (ITR) is more relevant for new-age taxpayers who spend around 90 minutes a day on smartphones for online activities. The time spent increases to 130 minutes with premium segment users, according to a 2018 Nielsen data.
One major advantage of online filing is that taxpayers need to upload the necessary documents on an ITR mobile app where the platform reads the documents and moves forward with the rest of the process.
Online tax filing platforms have also done away with having to remember important information pertaining to your ITR filing. They send push notifications to clients registered on their platform regarding important updates, including date, new policy and number, among others.
Artificial Intelligence (AI)-backed chat-bots help solve customer queries and issues. However, the biggest benefit is that because of technology, it is now easier to file the ITR online on-the-go. With current lifestyles, where everyone is pressed for time, technology has brought the much-needed ease in filing ITR
There are portals that ensure you file the income tax return in just seven minutes. How cool is that! With smart processes like auto-reading of Form-16, this is really a time-saving technique for taxpayers, especially for those who have to constantly travel for work. Online ITR filing is more secure than paper filing, since the data is not accessible to anyone — either by design or by chance — as portals use encryption technology. With the paper filing, there is a good chance for income details to be accessed easily. For example, someone at the chartered accountant’s office or in the income tax department can easily see any document filed as returns. Most e-filing platforms save data in a secure way and provide access to it at the time of subsequent returns filings.
Hurray! Your online ITR filing has been accepted — this email is valid proof that you have completed the filing process. The confirmation is prompt and is sent to the registered email ID at the time of filing and during subsequent filing.
Though online filing is very simple, detailed instructions pop up on the screen while completing the process, making it trouble-free even for those that are not internet-savvy.
While filing ITR online, it is easy to make a direct deposit of the refund and direct debit for tax payments. Furthermore, there is also the option to file now, pay later or even decide the day to make the electronic tax payment from your bank account.
Refunds submitted online are processed quicker than paper-filed returns. There will be a prompt acknowledgement of the ITR as well.
The e-filing software with built-in validations and electronic connectivity works seamlessly, thereby minimizing errors considerably. Neither is there any time or place constraint in filing returns online because the filing facility can be accessed 24×7 from anywhere.
Online filing platforms keep financial records secure, which can be used in the future. In case there is a need to show tax records, a taxpayer can just go back to the old record and do the needful.
While e-filing, it is easy to check the accuracy of the returns filed. There are many online tax return programmes available that can do the income tax return calculation and guide a payer with selecting the correct ITR form or what steps are needed to take next.