The linking of income tax return filing to Aadhaar by the Income-Tax Department is a good example for EPFO, Election Commission and others to follow to help the common man.
Getting income tax refunds till recently took months, if not years, but the Income-Tax Department has claimed that it is now taking just 7-10 days.
Thanks to the technological upgradation, e-filing of returns, and e-verification, the time taken for issuing refunds has got reduced to this level. The real clincher, however, is the linking of Aadhaar to the e-returns that have made the verification of the taxpayers’ details and transfer of the refund amount to their bank accounts amazingly fast.
According to the latest data on the Income-Tax Department’s website, 33,06,351 permanent account numbers (PANs) have already been linked to Aadhaar. The simple point here is, if the taxpayer is assured of a hassle-free income tax return filing and quick refunds because of Aadhaar – she is not required to be forced to provide Aadhaar card and the whole debate of it being optional or mandatory dies down.
Former Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) Chairman and Infosys co-founder reacted to story on Twitter:
Are millions of taxpayers going to be denied voluntary use of Aadhaar to get quick refunds? https://t.co/9Lv51XjORw @santoshshubh
— Nandan Nilekani (@NandanNilekani) September 15, 2015
This is what organizations like the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) and also the Election Commission (EC), need to do. Both are now wary of their plans to link Aadhaar in their operations after the Supreme Court ruling that the government can use it for direct benefit transfer (DBT) in the public distribution system (PDS) and LPG distribution only but it can’t be made mandatory.
The larger question here is: Why should the EPFO in handling its members’ withdrawals, or the EC for the voters’ identity card, not utilize Aadhaar, if it means better service? Also, why should somebody who wants her Aadhaar to be linked to a particular service be denied this option?
How the Income-Tax Department Did It: 6 Power Points
After all, banks and passport offices are using Aadhaar as the address and residence proof in a big way and it has made life much easier for the common man. The very fact that Aadhaar enrollment in the country has crossed 91 crore (91,23,52,115 to be precise at the time of writing) shows its acceptance and utility across the country.
The larger bench of the SC will certainly take notice of this and in all probability this confusion over Aadhaar being mandatory or optional will be over soon. The government has made its plan clear of using DBT for the delivery of Rs 3 lakh crore spending every year on social sector schemes, and it will find ways to ensure this – providing Aadhaar a statutory status is the ultimate solution, but this might take time. The immediate solution is to make Aadhaar the vehicle to improve service delivery across all departments.
If it is doing the trick for the Income-Tax Department, then surely it can do the same for others. “Taxpayers have appreciated the new initiative of Electronic Verification of the Income Tax Return through Aadhaar linkage and Net-banking and the testimonials affirm the user-friendliness and removal of the hassle of sending the paper copy of the ITR-V form to Bengaluru. Taxpayers have also reported that the process of e-verification shortens the time taken for processing of the return and issue of refund,” the department says.
New initiative in E-filing program: IT Dept showcases testimonials from taxpayers
* E filing is possible within minutes.
* Year by year, improvement in efiling is visible. xml utility and e verification of filed return are welcome additions worthy of all praise. Work of I.T. team is commendable.
* This procedure is very excellent instead of munual ruturn
* New verification mode is really very helpful for us. It reduces time and also sending paper in hard copy was difficult. This new format is really appreciated and helps the salaried employ save their time and money. It is so easy for every invvidual to fill their return own and get verified.
* My experience is good. especially when you can do e verification & no need to send ITRV.
* Good initiative ITR-V everification
* Great work and really efficient software which is easy for any layman to file returns
* I am really happy with this significant improvement on e-Filing process topped with EVC through Net Banking. It took me just 30 minutes file return. I would like to thank the entire team of this portal and I congratulate you on this super feat. Thank you guys and the government of India.
* Excellent move from IT dept. E filing for a salaried person like me takes hardly 10 minutes altogether. Thanks for making it simple and easy.
* It will be nice if items covered under respective sections i.e. 80c 80cc are abbreviated and shown on mouse hovering the item which will helpful. E verification through Aadhar is welcome. What next? efiling through android tablets? Congratulations to all of you.
* Very easy and fast system for filling and submitting income tax return online. I am sure this will encourage a lot more people to fill income tax return. Satisfied with current system.
* e filling updated one is excellent thank you
* Income tax return processed in record time. Excellent.
* Great to see the process improvement.. in terms of itr submission and hassle free processing. Excellent Work!!!
* Amazing service..!!! Everything is so easy and with high security, loved it…!!
* e-filing, e-verification and ITR processing and refund payment is very very fast and excellent.
* E filing is fantastic. And I got my refund credited to my bank account in 11 days after e filing. Simply superb!
* The online ITR form submission and verification works like a charm. Thanks! Thumbs up team! 🙂
* Medical Policy of my mother was due for refund.The refund has been recd yesterday.This is absolutely fantastic,excellent prompt service by IT Team. I am very thankful to IT dept for such Fast service especially being a Govt service. Great Job . Pls keep up the good work IT dept…
* Apart from the user friendly interface of filing the Tax Returns, I am also surprised to see the quickness of the Return processed and Refund given. Thank you very much and hoping to receive similar services in the future as well.
* Thank you for very fast action of refundable due to online submission and return.
* Impressive. Good to see that everify using netbanking. Thanks IT team for this and the initiator
* Superb e filing forms. Easy to file return in less than a minute. I.T. Department is one of the most efficient government department who is progressing year by year. Getting assessment done in less than 15 days time of return submission is highly appreciated.
* Awesome. The new Electronic verification and ITR upload are very fast and simplified the process like anything. I got my tax refund in two weeks. Thanks for making it so fast. i think even in USA it would take two months you did it with two weeks. great job. keep going.
* Mind Boggling. Hat off to IT dept. for creating such a robust site
* Excellent work done by the IT dept. EVC option is excellent!.