Taxpayers can now validate returns online

Taxpayers no longer need to send paper copies of the ITR-V form to Bengaluru. Verification can be done through Aadhar linkage and net banking

Taxpayers can now validate returns online
This year, several changes have been introduced to the income tax e-filing procedure. One of the major changes is with the ITR-V(Income Tax Return-Verification), which has to be sent to the Income Tax Department.

After e-filing his/her income tax returns, taxpayers receive a one-page verification document from the department. The person should send a signed copy to the CPC (Central Processing Centre) office in Bengaluru within 120 days to complete the e-filing procedure.

This is an important step as a large number of e-filers tend to forget this procedure. But the department does not consider the return e-filed until the ITR-V reaches them on time.
In what comes as a big relief to taxpayers, the Income Tax Department has introduced an e-verification as an alternative to sending the ITR-V. All taxpayers would still receive the ITR-V to their inboxes, but taxpayers will now have an option  to validate their return online.

In e-verification, taxpayers enter a unique 10-digit alphanumeric number to validate their income tax returns. This can be obtained in one of the four ways — through the taxpayer’s net banking account, bank ATM, Aadhaar card, or the department website.
After obtaining the code, taxpayers must log on to the department website, enter the code and get the return verified.

This electronic verification code can be used by all individual taxpayers to validate the income tax return irrespective of the assessment year or the type of return.

E-verification through Aadhaar card

The Aadhaar card must first be linked to your e-filing account. As soon as you login to the department website, a popup appears asking you to link your Aadhaar number to your e-filing account.

After the number has been validated, enter the Aadhaar OTP sent to your mobile number and validate your return.

The verification code is valid for 10 minutes when generated via Aadhaar card.

E-verification through Net banking

This option is available only to taxpayers of certain banks that are registered with the Income Tax Department. Further, only account holders who have their PAN validated as part of theKnow Your Client process can view this option.

Log on to the Net banking account and look for the ITR E-filing option. You will be redirected to the Income Tax Department website,  where you can generate the verification code.

The verification code generated is valid for 72 hours only.

E-verification through ATM

Taxpayers can generate e-verification code (EVC) through ATM only if the ATM card is linked to a PAN-validated bank account, and the bank is also registered with the Income Tax Department website. Users will see the ‘Generate EVC for Income Tax Return Filing’ option after entering the ATM PIN. 

The department will then process the request and send the taxpayer the EVC to his/her mobile number.

E-verification through website

To get the EVC to your registered email address/phone number, log on to the department website and select ‘Generate EVC’ from the e-File tab. A verification code will be sent to your email address and phone number. 

Click on e-verify return under the E-file tab. Select the first option: “I already have an EVC and I would like to Submit EVC”. Enter the EVC in the text box and hit submit. Download the acknowledgement.

Though EVC through this option has also been made available to those who earn less than Rs 5 lakh and have no refund claim, the IT Department may restrict it in some cases based on other risk criteria that the department may determine as it deems fit.

If none of the options are available to you, then you must send your ITR-V to CPC Bengaluru as usual. Remember to do so within 120 days from the date of e-filing your return.

(Preeti Khurana is a Chartered Accountant and  Chief Editor at www.cleartax.in, a tax e-filing website for individuals and businesses.)

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