CBDT Allows One-Time Verification of ITRs of the Past 5 Years
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The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has provided for a one-time verification of income tax returns (ITRs) pertaining to assessment years from 2015-16 to 2019-20, which had been uploaded electronically, but not yet verified.

Taxpayers need to verify their IT return within 120 days of filing them, through one of several means of verification available, both online and offline. Aadhaar OTP, logging into their e-filing account through net banking, or through an EVC obtained through their bank account number, Demat account number or bank ATM are the online methods of verification. To verify their return offline, the taxpayer needs to send a duly verified physical copy of the ITR, through the post, to the CPC (Central Processing Centre) at Bangalore.

It had been brought to the notice of the CBDT that several taxpayers had filed their returns in the last few years, but not undergone the process of verification. Non-verification of IT returns leads to the returns being declared as ‘non-est’ in law, and thereafter a taxpayer will be required to deal with the consequences of not filing his tax returns.

Also Read: CBDT notifies ITRs for the tax filings of AY 2020-21 (FY 2019-20)

Taking the above into consideration, the IT department has initiated a one-time measure for taxpayers to regularise such returns which have become ‘non-est’ in law, either due to non-filing or non-verification. Hence, taxpayers who had filed but not verified their tax returns for AY 2015-16, 2016-17, 2017-18, 2018-19 and 2019-20 can now verify the same before 30th September 2020. You can either send a duly signed physical copy of ITR-V to the CPC or use any of the listed online modes of verification.

This relaxation is not going to apply where the IT department has already taken recourse to measures specified in the Income Tax Act, during the intervening period. The CBDT has also relaxed the time-frame for issuing the intimation provided in the second proviso to sub-section (1) of section 143 of the Income Tax Act, directing that such returns shall be processed before 31st December 2020. If a taxpayer does not get his return duly regularised within the time specified, necessary consequences as per law, dealing with the non-filing of returns, will follow.

For any clarifications/feedback on the topic, please contact the writer at athena.rebello@cleartax.in

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