The Income Tax Department wants people to file ITRs of their own and have taken steps to reduce the dependency on intermediaries.
For salaried persons and professionals having presumptive income, pre-filled ITR Forms (ITR-1 and ITR-4 respectively) are available.
Filing of Income Tax Return (ITR) is a responsible task. Not only an assessee needs to reveal all the income, but any mistake in filing may result in receiving an income tax notice. As tax filing is the once a year process, there is little scope for regular practice and hence many people don’t want to take the burden and take help from professionals or knowledgeable persons involved in tax filing.
For salaried persons and professionals having presumptive income, pre-filled ITR Forms (ITR-1 and ITR-4 respectively) are available. But, in case such assesees redeem their investments in Equity Linked Savings Scheme (ELSS) or other equity-related funds or stocks, they have to file relatively ITR-2 or ITR-3 Forms as the Long Term Capital Gain (LTCG) on sale of equities and/or equity-related funds has now become taxable.
The Income Tax Department, however, wants people to file ITRs of their own and have taken steps to reduce the dependency on intermediaries.
For this, the Department first introduced the Contact Details Validation Drive in 2014 to ensure that the same mobile number and email ID are not used in bulk by the intermediaries and assessees use their own contact details.
The assessees, however, are allowed to enter the email of any other person designated as their intermediary, in addition, as a Secondary Contact (without any restriction on the number of user accounts linked as a Secondary Contact) to also receive emails, alerts etc.
Steps like E-verification, that was introduced in 2015 and PAN-Aadhaar linking, that was introduced in 2017 were some other steps, were also taken to make assessees use their own details.
To ensure that assessees use only their personal contact details as Primary Contact, the Department has now made it mandatory to prevalidate the bank account number in which an assessee wants to receive the amount of tax refund, if any.
A bank account may be prevalidated only if the contact details (mobile number and email ID) of an assessee are matched with the Primary Contact details registered in the tax filing profile of the assessee, provided the PAN of the assessee is seeded in the database of the bank.
So, if you don’t file your ITR of your own, make sure that the person filing the return on your behalf or the intermediary, uses your contact details as Primary Contact in your income tax profile, else your bank account can’t be prevalidated and you may not receive the refund amount, if any.