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In an attempt to make filing income tax returns (ITR) more taxpayer-friendly, the government launched an e-filing portal this year. While announcing that the deadline for filing the income tax returns (ITR) for assessment year 2021-22 is 31 December, the Income Tax department has urged taxpayers to file their returns soon using their e-filing portal. 

The income tax (I-T) department has introduced an automated filing system, annual information statement (AIS) along with other initiatives to ease the filing process. Due date for filing ITR for the assessment year 2021-2022 is December 31, 2021.

The taxpayers who are yet to file them, must do so before the due date as failing to file the ITR can create several problems for all taxpayers. 

The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) set the deadline initially on July 31, but moved to September 30 due to multiple technical glitches that were flagged by users. Eventually, the government decided to extend the ITR filing deadline to December 31.

Meanwhile, as of December 3, over three crore ITRs have now been filed on the new e-filing portal of the Income Tax Department, as per the Ministry of Finance statement.

Additionally, the Income Tax Department has urged the taxpayers to view their Form 26AS and Annual Information Statement (AIS) through the e-filing portal to verify the accuracy of the TDS and Tax Payments and avail of pre-filling of ITRs.

"It is important for taxpayers to cross-check the data in the AIS statement with their Bank passbook, interest certificate, Form 16 and Capital gains statement from brokerages in case of purchase and sale of equity or Mutual funds etc," the ministry said.

The process of e-verification through Aadhaar OTP and other methods is important for the department to commence processing of the ITR and to issue refunds if any.

"It is encouraging to note that 2.69 crore returns have been e-verified, out of which more than 2.28 crore are through Aadhaar based OTP," it said.

The Department has been issuing reminders to taxpayers through emails, SMS and media campaigns encouraging taxpayers to file their Income Tax Returns without further delay.

"All taxpayers who are yet to file their Income Tax returns for AY 2021-22 are requested to file their returns at the earliest to avoid the last-minute rush," it added.

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