The tax department has provided a one-time window till September this year to taxpayers who haven’t verified their income tax returns for the assessment years (AY) 2015-16 to AY 2019-20.
A notification issued today by the Central Board of Direct Taxes stated, “It has been brought to the notice of Central Board of Direct Taxes ('CBDT') that a large number of electronically filed ITRs still remain pending with the Income Tax Department for want of receipt of a valid ITR-V Form at CPC, Bengaluru from the taxpayers concerned. In law, consequences of non-filing the ITR-V within the time allowed is significant as such a return is/can be declared Non-est in law, thereafter, all the consequences for non-filing a tax return, as specified in the Income-tax Act,1961 (Act) follow."
In case a person files tax return online, it has to be verified by sending signed ITR-V (generated on filing tax return) physically to the CPC Bangalore through post or using electronic methods including Aadhar OTP, net banking, EVC through bank account number, demat account number and Bank ATM.
By verifying the tax return, the tax return filer basically makes a declaration that the details provided in the return are correct.
Normally, one needs to verify the tax return within 120 days of the filing of income tax return or any extended date announced by the tax department.
The income tax return filing process is not complete if the tax return is not verified. The tax department will not process the return until and unless it is verified. The return becomes invalid if not verified.
Amit Maheshwari, Tax Partner, AKM Global, a consulting firm states, “This is a welcome measure and will provide a much-needed relief. We have seen several cases were taxpayers were facing genuine issues due to non-receipt of ITR V even though the return was filed and taxed paid. Considering the consequences of non-filing, this is a laudable step from the government."
In case the return becomes invalid, the person may have to pay penalty.
Sudhir Kaushik, CEO, Taxspanner.com says, “It is important to verify tax return as the tax filing process is not complete without it, and return becomes invalid. In this case a person will not be able to claim a refund, carry forward losses, or file a revised return."
“This is a welcome move as it will enable taxpayers who may have inadvertently missed verification of electronically filed tax returns which would have rendered e filed tax returns as invalid," said Sonu Iyer, Tax Partner and People Advisory Services Leader, EY India.
Therefore, it will better that you verify your tax return within the time provided if you haven’t done it already.