The Income Tax Department has from time to time issued advisories regarding the need to avoid phishing emails and to carefully protect the passwords, OTPs and not share them with others.
In order to ensure that taxpayers are able to secure their E-filing account against any fraudulent attempts, the Income Tax Department has introduced a new facility called the “E-filing Vault”. In order to use this facility, taxpayers can log in to their E-filing Account and under their profile page select “E-filing Vault – higher security”.
Taxpayers can then select to login with any one or multiple options of the higher security methods namely – using Aadhaar linkage to generate OTP, Login through Net-Banking or Login using Digital Signature Certificate (DSC). Once this has been done, any future attempt to login will require the additional check of OTP using Aadhaar or the taxpayers will have to login using net banking or login using DSC. By using this facility, taxpayers can prevent anyone from logging in even if in the past they shared the user id and password. The dual factor authorization ensures higher degree of security compared to the simple User id and Password.
Similarly, taxpayers can also select how their password can be reset. Once the taxpayer has selected reset password using any one or multiple options of the higher security methods namely – using Aadhaar linkage to generate OTP, Login through Net-Banking or Login using Digital Signature Certificate (DSC), then no other person will be able to reset taxpayer’s password even if the secret answer or E-filing OTP etc is known.
Additional EVC 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 the their E-filing Account to login and resetting of password.