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Warning from Income Tax about this fraud on your ITR filing
April, 29th 2019

In a latest alert, the Income Tax department said, “The Income Tax department never asks for your PIN numbers, passwords or similar access information for credit cards, banks or other financial accounts through email.”

The time for income tax return (ITR) filing for the assessment year 2019-20 is just around the corner. The Income Tax department has already allowed taxpayers to begin the procedure for filing ITR forms 1 and 4. Remaining other forms will be asked for filing shortly. It is always advisable to begin the procedure of filing at early months. This is because to avoid last minute rush, and missing out on key important claims. While ITR filing process has begun, it is also the time for making investments for saving claiming tax benefits. Various banks like SBI, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, Axis Bank, Bank of Baroda and PNB among others have already started to encourage customers for opting their 5-year fixed deposits tax saving schemes. With that, fraud alerts are also being communicated by the tax department.

In a latest alert, the department said, “The Income Tax department never asks for your PIN numbers, passwords or similar access information for credit cards, banks or other financial accounts through email.”

This warning is a reminder of a very traditional pattern of fraud named as phishing scam. A phishing fraud is highly carried through email address. A scammer will send you an email which will look like its from your own bank or another site, where payment information is stored.

Few examples of the mail could be, that they are having some technical issues in their computer, before asking you to re-submit your account details or credit card information etc.

Apart from this, fraudsters can also lure you with mails of discounts or information either to swindle you directly or to defraud you under other person’s name whom you know.

In the potential fraud alert, the department also warned taxpayers saying, “The Income Tax department appeals to taxpayers NOT to respond to such emails and Not to share information relating to their credit card, bank or other financial accounts.”

Before understanding why you need to be really aware and vigilant with this phishing scam. First, one should understand why are we needed to link our bank accounts with income taxes.

The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has mandated it from April 2015, that every taxpayer must provide in their bank account details at any time of ITR filing.

Bank account details needed for ITR filing are - number of accounts, IFSC code, name of the bank, name of the joint account holders, account number and bank statements as on March 31st.

Reason for giving your bank account details is that it is one of the important tool for ITR filing. The department also allows citizens to check their e-verify ITR refund via bank account number. Currently, banks like Allahabad Bank, Andhra Bank, Bank of Baroda, Canara Bank, Central Bank of India, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, IDBI Bank, Karur Vysya Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank, Oriental Bank of Commerce, PNB, SBI, Syndicate Bank, UCO Bank, Union Bank of India, United Bank of India and Saraswat Bank are authorized for letting you check your ITR refund status. Hence, if you are a bank account holder in these mentioned lenders, well then you will have to fill in your financial credentials with income tax.

One of the major uses of bank account is that, when your refund is failed. It would mean there is an error either in your address, bank account or name information during ITR filing. The department helps you in getting your claims, if you have updated your bank account.

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