The most dreaded act for anyone earning a taxable income is returns filing. The minds in finance ministry has an obligation to give a decent living to hoardes of CA's and tax consultants, so they made the forms in such a way that any normal human being have to go through a Masters course of advanced tax filing to think about reading them. So the most sought after route is, get a tax consultant, give him all the details, pay him the required fee and get the acknowledgement slip.Forget about it, after few months get a cheque from IT department if there is any refund. Start the cycle next year.
I have been doing the same when i was in india till a year ago. But once i tried to online filing, but i nipped it in the bud once i saw the proceedure. Maybe this is due to my laziness or unwillingness to go through the maze.
But i had a very pleasant experience in filing returns here in malaysia.
Once the financial year completed i recieved the returns filing form with basic personal and professional details. The biggest draw back was, it was completely in Malay rather than in english. If you need to fill the form you need the help of some local person.
The biggest revelation for me in malaysia was the way they have their government offices. It is people friendly and not intimidating as back in india. Im not saying everything is hunky dory here, but overall a better experience than in India. Income tax office has several officers to help you out to fill the forms and also place to pay any tax you need to pay.
The other way is onling filing which is one of the easiest way to file returns. In the income tax office they have several PCs which we can use to file the returns. There also they have officers to help you out complete them.
As i was filing for the first time, i showed my id and tax refernce number . They registered and gave me a pin number to login to the system. The site is also available in english which was helpful to file the returns without any help. Everything was given step by step like personal details, income yearned,tax paid, deduction and rebates, final tax calculation. Once you fill them with available details you can send the file with digital signature and take the receipt. Thats it!!! It take no more than 15 minutes for me to finish. No hassles, no tax consulants, no expenses. It was one of the best experience i had so far.
I dont know how the system has changed back in india, but if they want to change, they can take this system as an example to go ahead.