No forms, no queues. Just go to your ATM and pay your income tax. The government on Thursday launched the new facility for tax payment and said it was to begin with open only to Union Bank of India customers but will be extended to other banks.
Here's how it will work. The bank's debit cards holders will register on the lender's website. This site is in turn linked to the National Securities Depositories Ltd which will help validate the permanent account number (PAN) of individuals and the Tax Deduction Account Number (TAN) provided to taxpayers.
After the registration, a customer can go to a Union Bank ATM and can surf the income tax menu which will display his PAN number and ask for the tax amount that is to be paid along with item-wise details of any other amount the assessee may want to include in the tax payment.
On confirmation, the tax amount will be debited from the customer's account and the ATM will generate a receipt with a special number. After 24 hours, customers can log on to the bank's website, submit the special number and print a challan.
Up to eight family members of a Union Bank of India customer can pay tax through the bank's ATM even if they do not have an account with the public sector player.
Union bank CMD M V Nair said the bank was looking at the possibility of extending the service to payment of other taxes as well as allowing customers of other banks to use its ATM for income tax payment.
At present, taxpayers have to go to a bank branch to pay tax after filling up a form and then collect a copy of the challan. At the end of every quarter, bank branches are overflowing with taxpayers trying to meet the deadline.
A tax department official said that other banks may be roped in but it was for the banks to come up with proposals. Increasingly, the tax department is pushing for electronic channels to collect taxes and returns. Special incentives such as early processing of returns have enticed taxpayers to avail of the electronic channels instead of queuing up at counters.