Let me begin with a question….have you filed your Income Tax Return? Yes? Good good…me too. Yay!
Have you sent the ITR-V to the Income Tax office? Yes? Great! Now, you see, this is the step which seems impossible to me.
I don’t mind collecting my income details, compiling them into neat tables, savings, investments, loans etc.etc…this is the part I love (I know, I know, I should try CA instead of software!). I love cross-checking my Form-16 and then sending mails to my office finance team and give them some extra work. I love filling all this in the return, carefully, very carefully, submitting the return and that’s it! For some reason, I don’t get irritated with any of this. In fact, call me crazy or whatever, but I was actually checking the income tax website everyday since 1st June when they would enable the option of return file for AY 15-16.
But this is where I stop. I do all this with quite an enthusiasm, not because I was one of those kids in school who used to come home and first complete their homework without being asked, before going to play, but mostly because I am excited to see that Tax Refund section showing an amount which is more then 0. That amount gives almost exactly the same feeling as the long-lost-unexpectedly-found money in the old jeans. If you are thinking why do I get tax refund? Remember I was one of those kids? So I always invest the maximum limit eligible for deduction but declare it towards the end of the year. By that time, I have already paid more tax then my due through the company tax deductions. All this just because I want to feel that refund reflecting in my return. O the thrill! (yeah, crazy whatever! This is one of those matters of the heart, free of logics and reasons, so spare me the looks.)
Now the process of taking a printout and sending it to the IT deptt. BY POST feels like an impossible task to me. I mean, while we are going all digital, why do we still have to send this one-side single printed paper by post? Why! Why!
First of all, it is an effort to take a printout. I mean, who takes printouts these days! We have screenshots and scans invented for the sole purpose of eliminating printouts. I am right, right?
Second of all, who goes to the post office these days. In fact, who even knows whether they have a post office in their area or not! We know that there should be one in my city but in my area? I am not sure about that.
So these and laziness and procrastination keeps me from sending my ITR-V until the very last day, every year. Year after year. I get multiple mails and messages reminding that my ITR-V is not yet received and I keep ignoring them. If these reminders were invented for sleepy-heads like me, might as well squeeze out its complete purpose.
But this year, my prayers were answered!
It was Friday and I got a message from the Income Tax Deptt. in the afternoon. Assuming it would be another of those reminders, I was going to delete it but felt even that effort a waste and decided to ignore the SMS. Later at night, while I was searching my inbox for some other message, I noticed this one and opened it to delete (see my smartphone is pretty smart. It wont let me delete unread messages unless I at least open it. Impressive, huh?).
The message – “Dear Taxpayer, you may e-verify your Income Tax Return after login to https://****. Please ignore if ITR-V has been sent”
You cant imagine my surprise at that point. A pleasant surprise, of course. To give you a perspective, this was almost the same amount of happiness you felt when you would ride home after school, in the summers, on your bicycle, under the scorching heat of 2PM in July, with a huge schoolbag on your back which would weigh mostly more than your own weight, to find your Mom at the gate with a big jug of nimbu paani or Ruh-Afza (whichever was your favorite) and a glass tumbler (the glass tumbler is important. Plastic or steel wont do for nimbu paani or Ruhafza! Come one…everyone knows this!)
I log-on to the portal and yes, there it is, e-verify! O sweet Mother of God! Click and done! This should have been in place long back, but I’ll manage.
To The government – Let’s go digital…..all the way. About time!
Now let me browse some more reddit and 9Gag with all that precious time I just saved.