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Get online, not in line, to pay tax
June, 21st 2007
Paying taxes has never been simpler with the authorities introducing the mechanism of online payment. The use of electronic means to deliver services is not only an efficient and speedy process, but it also facilitates a transparent process for disseminating information and delivering it to the taxpayers of the nation.

Online payment of taxes helps you save time, is convenient and is paperless. You could be in office or at home the facility to pay taxes is just a click away. To use of this facility, all you need is an account with a bank that offers net banking and e-tax payment facility. SBI, HDFC Bank, IDBI Bank, UTI Bank and Union Bank of India are some banks that provide the e-tax payment facility.

The procedure for payment of taxes online is simple and the user-friendly instructions make it even more attractive. To start with, you need to log on to NSDL-TIN website (www.tin-nsdl.com) and click on the e-Tax-online payment option. You will then be directed to a list of banks that provide the e-tax payment facility. Click on the option for your bank and choose the applicable tax challan.

If it is a tax deducted at source payment, challan no. 281 shall apply; else challan nos. 280, 282 or 283 shall be applicable. Challan no. 280 is used for payment of advance tax and self-assessment tax. Challan no. 282 is used for payment of miscellaneous taxes like gift tax, wealth tax, estate tax, expenditure tax etc. Challan no. 283 is used for payment of fringe benefits tax or banking cash transaction tax.

On opting for the challan type applicable, particulars such as the permanent account number (PAN) or tax deduction account number (TAN) as may be applicable, name and address of the taxpayer, relevant assessment year, type of payment and name of the bank will be displayed.

These particulars will need to be filled in carefully as an incorrect PAN/TAN (if it does match the records of the income-tax department) will not allow further processing of the payment. The mandatory fields are highlighted and to ensure smooth processing, these fields need to be populated. You will then reach the net-banking site provided by your bank where you hold your account and with the use of the allocated customer ID and password, the payment will be processed.

Once the process is complete and the bank processes the online transaction, you will be issued an acknowledgment indicating the challan identification number (CIN). After a week of making the payment, the status of the payment may be verified at the NSDL-TIN website under section Challan Status Inquiry.

You can also verify the payment of taxes through an online bank statement. Apart from being relieved of the hassles of visiting the bank for paying taxes and the additional paper work, an added advantage is that online payment does not require attaching the acknowledged counterfoil with your return.

Quoting the challan identification number is sufficient proof for the tax authorities. Imagine, not having to worry about the challan copies and the related paperwork. As for security concerns, the authorities assure the taxpayers that the transmission through the NSDL-TIN website is encrypted and is with the secure socket layer authentication.
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