People with annual income of over Rs 10 lakh (Rs 1 million) will have to file their tax returns for 2011-12 electronically.
The Central Board of Direct Taxes has issued a notification making e-filing compulsory for assessment year 2012-13 onwards for an individual or a Hindu Undivided Family if his or its total income exceeds Rs 10 lakh.
However, digital signature will not be mandatory for these taxpayers, the Finance Ministry said in a statement.
E-filing for such assessees was optional till 2010-11.
The Income Tax Department had received a record 1.64 crore (16.4 million) e-returns in 2011-12 financial year.
Currently, 'Business Houses' with receipts of Rs 60 lakh (Rs 6 million) and professionals with income of Rs 15 lakh (Rs 1.5 million) are mandatorily required to e-file their return with digital signature.
As on March 31, 2012, there were 19,684,592 tax payers who had registered for e-filing.
The ministry said, 'e-filing is an easy, fast and secure method of filing income tax return' and 'the processing for e-filed return is faster and taxpayers get their refunds, if due, quickly'.
The electronically filed returns are processed at Centralised Processing Centre, Bengaluru.
The Income Tax department also provides some value added services like tracking of refunds and viewing of tax credit status.