The process of electronically filing your Income Tax Returns is known as e-Filing. A Tax assessee can file income tax returns by visiting income tax department’s e-filing portal. It is mandatory to have an Income Tax eFiling Account to file online tax return.
There is no need to highlight the fact that how sensitive is the information that is available in your eFiling account. Your e-Filing Account indeed has very sensitive information like your personal details, PAN, Income Tax Return Details, Tax Credit information (Form 26AS) etc.,
So, to make income tax efiling account more secured, the Income Tax Department has introduced a new facility called the ‘E-Filing Vault‘. Through this feature you can now make your eFiling Account more secured. The eFiling Vault is typically a dual factor login authentication feature.
Income Tax eFiling Account & eFiling Vault
E-Filing Account & Login options
- To login to your income tax efiling account, currently you have to just provide your User Id (PAN number), Password & Captcha image code.
- To make your login more secured, you now have multiple options besides the above normal login procedure.
- After visiting the eFiling website, login to the portal with your credentials.
- Kindly click on ‘Profile Settings’ and then click on ‘E-Filing Vault – Higher Security‘ option.
- Once you click on e-Filing Vault option, you can view two section i) Login with Higher Security Options & ii) Lock Reset Password Options.
- Under Login with Higher Security Options, you can then select to login with any one or multiple options of the higher security methods namely;
- Aadhaar & OTP (One Time Password) or
- Login through Net-Banking or
- Login using Digital Signature Certificate (DSC).
- Once you select any one of the above options, any future attempt to login will require the additional check i.e., OTP using Aadhaar or will have to login using your net banking credentials or login using DSC. (Once you activate this functionality, normal login procedure + any of these options is mandatory to login to income tax efiling account)
- Below are the pre-requisites to avail these multiple login options;
- Let’s say you select ‘Aadhaar OTP‘ option.
- You will get a confirmation message to ‘generate OTP’.
- If you click on ‘Generate Aahdaar OTP, you will receive OTP on your mobile number which is linked to Aadhaar card.
- You have to enter this OTP and click on ‘validate’.
- You will then receive a message as ‘Aadhaar Authentication is successful’. You then have to click on ‘Confirm’ to make Aadhar linked OTP as your second level authentication.
- So, next time when you login to eFiling Account, after the normal login you will be re-directed to Aadhaar OTP login page where in you have to generate Aadhaar OTP to proceed further.
- The dual factor authorization ensures higher degree of security compared to the simple User id and Password.
- Kindly note that you can ‘Disable‘ the dual factor authentication feature anytime. To deactivate eFiling Vault functionality;
- Click on ‘Profile Settings’ and then select ‘E-Filing Vault’ option.
- You can then click on the login option that you have opted for.
- Click on ‘Proceed’ and then click on ‘Disable’ option.
- For example – Below screenshot is for disabling ‘Aadhaar OTP’ login option.
Income Tax E-Filing Account & Password Reset options
Besides the above multiple login options, you can also select how your eFiling Account’s password can be reset.
- If you have forgotten your e-Filing account, to reset/change your password you have to click on ‘Forgot password’ option which is available on ‘Login Page’.
- You have to then enter your ‘User Id’ (PAN number) & Captcha code.
- You can ‘select the option’ to reset the password.
- If you have not yet activated the new reset password functionality, you have to choose ‘answer secret question’ (or) Using OTP/PIN options only.
- In the above screenshot, you can notice that two more ‘password reset options’ namely ‘Upload DSC‘ & ‘Using Aadhaar OTP‘ are available.
- To activate these options, you have to login to your account, click on ‘Profile Settings’ and then select ‘E-Filing Vault – Higher Security option’. You can view the below ‘Password reset options’.
- Kindly note that Password reset through net-banking option is the default option. (or)
- You can choose ‘Digital Signature Certificate’ option and then click on ‘Proceed’. (or)
- You can also opt for ‘Using Aadhaar OTP’ option and then click on ‘Proceed’ to select this as the option to reset your password.
- Kindly note that if you select net-banking / DSC / Aadhar modes, the existing functionality i.e., secret answer & using pin modes will be disabled.
- Also, kindly note that you can ‘Disable‘ the new reset password option anytime.
By using this new facility, you (taxpayers) can prevent anyone from logging in even if in the past you have shared the user id and password. The dual factor authorization ensures higher degree of security compared to the simple User id and Password.
Additional EVC (Electronic Verification Code) options using ATM, Bank Account Validation or Demat Account Validations are shortly going to be introduced and these options will also be available for the higher level of security for login as well as resetting of password.
Income Tax Department strongly advises all taxpayers to use a strong password (combination of at least one uppercase, one special character and one numeral) and select the E-filing Vault option to add an additional layer of security to your E-filing Account for login and resetting of password .
- Income Tax Return Filing AY 2016-17 & New ITR Forms AY 2016-17
- How Income Tax Department tracks your High Value Financial Transactions?
(Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net) (Reference : Income Tax e-Filing Vault user manual & PIB release)
(Post Published Date : 04-Apr-2016)