NEW DELHI :
If you have not verified your income tax returns (ITR) for assessment years 2015-16 to 2019-20, then you have time till September 30th as the income tax department has given a one-time relaxation to taxpayers who have not yet verified their e-filed tax returns. Once filed, ITR needs to be verified by the taxpayer to complete the income tax return filing process.
Non-filing of ITR-V form within the prescribed time period can lead to ITR being declared as 'non-est'. The income tax department said a large number of electronically filed ITRs still remain pending with the I-T department for want of receipt of a valid ITR-V Form at CPC, Bengaluru from the taxpayers concerned.
5 things to know about verification of old ITRs
1) The relaxation is a one-time measure applicable for the last five assessment years -- 2015-16, 2016-17, 2017-18, 2018-19 and 2019-20 only.
2) The relaxation shall not apply in those cases, where the income tax department has already taken recourse to other measures for ensuring filing of tax return by the taxpayer concerned after declaring the return as Non-est.
3) A taxpayer filing income tax returns (ITR) electronically without digital signature has to verify it using either Aadhaar one-time password (OTP), or logging into e-filing account through net banking, or by Electronic Verification Code (EVC) or by sending a duly signed physical copy of ITR-V through post to CPC Bengaluru within 120 days of uploading the ITR.
4) "In many cases, ITRs filed by individuals became invalid due to non-completion of verification process. Consequently tax refunds, if any claimed in those ITRs also got stuck. By this order, the government has not only relaxed the timeline allowing taxpayers to verify their past years' invalid ITRs by 30th September but also allowed processing of such past ITRs by 31 December 2020," Shailesh Kumar, Partner, Nangia & Co LLP, said.
5) ClearTax CEO Archit Gupta said taxpayers who could not verify their returns timely now have a sufficient window to do so. "They must use this opportunity to make sure all past returns are duly verified, so they can be processed. If such compliance is not completed by 30th Sept, a notice may be sent to taxpayers for non-filing," he said.