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Relaxation for Verification of Income Tax Returns

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Relaxation for Verification of Income Tax Returns

Going through the records, the Central Board of Direct Taxes recently noticed that a vast number of income tax returns are pending only because of the non-submission of duly signed ITR-V. To overcome the same, the Government has announced a one-time relaxation for verification of the income tax return for the last five years, which are pending only for want of ITR-V. The current article briefly covers the original provisions attached to the verification of income tax returns and the Government’s one-time relaxation.

Provisions relating to verification of income tax returns

The income tax return filed online (without using Digital Signature Certificate) must be verified as per the provisions. Any of the following ways can be adopted for verification of the return-

  1. E-verification using Aadhaar OTP.
  2. E-verification through Bank Account Number.
  3. E-verification through net banking.
  4. E-verification through Demat Account Number.
  5. E-verification through bank ATM.
  6. Sending duly signed copy of ITR-V via post to CPC, Bengaluru.

Noticeably, the first five options/ ways, narrated above, are electronic verification, and the last i.e., the sixth option, is offline verification. In case the taxpayer has selected the sixth option, the taxpayer is required to send a copy of ITR-V to the Income Tax Department within 120 days of uploading/ filing the return at the below address-

CPC, Post Box No. 1,

Electronic City Post Office,

Bengaluru – 560 100.

If the taxpayer fails to duly submit a copy of ITR-V, the e-return filed shall be considered invalid.

It is worth noting that verification of electronically filed returns is important since the taxpayer doesn’t sign the return at the time of filing. Further, in case the return is filed using the ‘Digital Signature Certificate’, the verification of the same is not required.

One-time relaxation

The Central Board of Direct Taxes, vide circular no. 13/2020 dated 13th July 2020, has come up with one-time relaxation. The purpose, applicability, and non-applicability of one-time relaxation is explained hereunder-

  1. Purpose of one-time relaxation-

Following are the two main purpose of one-time relaxation-

  • To resolve the grievance of the taxpayers associated with non-submission of ITR-V of the earlier assessment years; and
  • To regularize the results, which have either become non-est (i.e., invalid) or are pending because of non-receipt of ITR-V.
  1. Applicability of one-time relaxation-

The one-time relaxation is available only if the following two conditions are satisfied-

  • The returns for the relevant Assessment Year are electronically uploaded within the time limit specified under section 139 of the Income Tax Act; and
  • ITR-V of the same is pending for submission.

If both the above conditions are satisfied, then, as a measure of relaxation, the taxpayer is permitted to complete the verification of any of the pending returns for the Assessment Year 2015-2016, 2016-2017, 2017-2018, 2018-2019, and 2019-2020 by 30th September 2020.

  1. Non-applicability of one-time relaxation-

The one-time relaxation shall not be available to the cases, wherein, the income tax department, during the intervening period, has already taken recourse of other possible measures to ensure filing of the taxpayer’s income tax return.

Conclusion

Verification is required for all the income tax returns which are filed electronically without using Digital Signature Certificate. The return shall become invalid if the verification of the same is not complete within a prescribed time limit of 120 days.

The Government’s present one-time relaxation is undoubtedly a good opportunity for the non-filers to regularize their pending income tax return and receive the pending income tax refund, if any, stuck up due to non-filing ITR-V.

But it is vital for the non-filers to take note that for availing the one-time relaxation, the taxpayer is required to complete the verification i.e., submit the copy of duly signed ITR-V to CPC by 30th September 2020.

Post by poonamgandhi

CA Poonam Gandhi is a Chartered Accountant and a Lawyer. With a wide practice experience and deep understanding of different laws and taxes, she has been an independent professional writer in the field of taxation, finance and laws.