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India Officially Launches Electronic Tax Return System

by Mary Swire, Tax-News.com, Hong Kong

29 August 2003


The Indian government launched its electronic tax return system this week, which is being operated through seven major banks in seven cities in its initial phase.

The income tax department has nominated six national banks through which the scheme will operate. These are: UTI Bank, HDFC Bank, IDBI Bank, ICICI Bank, Bharat Overseas Bank and Indian Overseas Bank. Provided the taxpayer has a Permanent Account Number (PAN), the bank will transmit the information contained in a Form 16 to the income tax department's servers, thus eliminating the more time-consuming option of individual taxpayers dealing with the department directly. The banks will also provide a copy of the return to the taxpayer.

The cities where the e-file service will be available are Delhi (through 6 bank branches), Mumbai (five branches), Chenna (four branches), Bangalore (four branches), Kolkata, Hyderabad and Ahmedabad (three branches). There will be a charge of between R100 and R400 depending on the level of service provided by the banks, chairman of the CBDT told reporters this week. Taxpayers will also require a digital signature to use the service, though so far, only 5,000 individuals have obtained one.


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