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According to the finance ministry, around 1.64 crore people filed their taxes via the online option for FY 2011-12*. This number will surely be expected to rise as time goes by.
Of course, if you earn an annual income that exceeds Rs. 10 lakh, you have no choice but to file your returns online. For the rest, here are some advantages of going the e-way.
One of the biggest advantages is the sheer convenience. Taxes can be filed anytime, anywhere. If you were doing it the old fashioned way, then the returns cannot be filed after 6pm. There is no need to make an appointment with a chartered accountant and trudge all the way to his office. Save that time and energy for something else.
Separately, online tax returns are processed at a faster pace than the returns filed the regular way.
If you file your returns online, you can do so free of cost. Even if you take the help of certain websites, it is not phenomenally expensive and the rates vary depending on whether you take a basic package or a more advanced one where services, such as a professional going through the returns, and other facilities are provided.
Security should not be a concern. The e-filing website of the Income Tax Department is secure. The tax payer has to register himself and only after successful registration will he be given an encrypted ID and password.
On a closing note, neither is it complicated. It’s time you opted for a faster, simpler and more convenient route to file your returns.
* Source: CBDT Notification dated 2nd July 2012, Ministry of Finance, Government of India.