Taxpayers could soon use digital modes of payment such as United Payments Interface (UPI), mobile wallets and credit cards to pay their income tax returns, according to a Business Standard report. Currently, income tax can be done be paid only through debit cards (of 6 banks) or via net banking.
Revenue Secretary Ajay Bhushan Pandey said that “we would definitely like to use UPI” and that this might be allowed “as soon as possible”, according to the report. The report also cited an unnamed government official who said that for small tax amounts, mobile wallets could be used, and the government would define “electronic payments” which could include a mobile wallet, a credit card or UPI.
It is also possible that the government is looking for ways to encourage use of UPI, which is run by the National Payments Corporation of India. UPI, originally launched in April 2016, has been a massive success in the country. FY2017 saw 17.8 million transactions made via UPI whereas in April 2019 alone, 781.7 million transactions were made using UPI; in October 2019, that number reached 1.14 billion, according to data released by NPCI. There are also plans to take BHIM UPI international, with a launch in Singapore expected in February 2020.