After successfully filing of your income tax return, the next step is to verify it. The Income Tax Department starts processing your return once it is confirmed. One has to verify your ITR. Otherwise, your tax filing will be considered invalid. Currently, the best way to verify your ITR is the online/electronic method. Refunds, if any, are processed for returns that have been submitted and verified. However, there is also an offline physical method of ITR verification, where you have to send a copy of ITR-V by post.
Belated Income Tax Return Filing till 30 June 2020 due to Covid-19
The news was announced on March 24, 2020, by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, to extend the deadline for belated income tax return (ITR) and revised tax return for FY 2018-19 from 31 March 2020 to 30 June 2020. The decision has come due to curfews and lockdowns because of the outbreak of coronavirus pandemic. Other tax-related deadlines were also extended. These include extension of PAN-Aadhaar linking deadline to June 30, 2020, Vivad se Vishwaas scheme without paying any interest and penalty to June 30, 2020, and completing tax-saving for FY 2019-20.
Why the deadline extensions were needed
Deadline for belated ITR: If the deadline for belated ITR was not extended for FY 2018-19, then taxpayers would have lost the opportunity to file their tax return unless income tax department specifically would have asked them to. According to the Income Tax Department, the willful failure of filing ITR can lead to prosecution and levy of fines under the Income-tax Act, 1961. Hence, this extension has come as relief for those individuals who are yet to file their tax returns and could not do so because of lockdown and curfews.
Penalty for belated ITR filing
Individuals, while filing belated ITR, will be required to pay late filing fees. According to the Income-tax Act, 1961, late filing fees of Rs 10,000 will be levied if the ITR is filed from 31March 2020 to 30 June 2020. However, if the total income does not exceed Rs 5 lakh, then a maximum late filing fee of Rs 1,000 will be levied. However, in case of revised return, no such penalty will be levied.
An individual can also be prosecuted under section 276CC of the Act with imprisonment and fine for willful failure or default in filing the income tax return. If any unreported income is later discovered by the Income Tax Department, then a penalty of 50 percent to 200 percent for under-reporting or misreporting of income will be leviable on you.
Methods of ITR e-verification
Once the ITR is uploaded on the e-filing website, you get 120 days to e-verify the return. The methods of verification include both electronic and physical modes. There are six electronic methods to e-verify your income tax return filing. After verifying the ITR return electronically, you do not need to send the physical ITR 5 copy.
Electronic check via Aadhar-based OTP
To verify your Income Tax Return (ITR) using the Aadhaar-based one-time password (OTP), your mobile number must be linked to Aadhaar. The steps involved in this verification are as follows:
- At first, you need to visit the e-filing web portal
- Then you need to link your Aadhar Card with PAN details in case it is not linked. Also, the mobile number must be linked to your Aadhar number and registered with the same number in the UIDAI database.
- On the e-filing web portal, go to “My Account” page and click on e-verify return. An SMS with six digits OTP (One Time password) will be sent to your registered mobile number). This OTP is valid only for 30 minutes.
- At last, you have to enter the received OTP on the e-filing portal, and your income tax return filing will be verified.
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Electronic Verification via Net banking
You can also verify your income tax return via Net Banking if you have availed the Net Banking facility of your bank account. One must remember that only select banks allow you to e-verify your ITR. The steps involved in this verification are as follows:
- Firstly, log in to your Bank Account on the bank’s website. After this, select the e-verify option under the “TAX” tab, and clicking on this option will redirect to the e-filing website of the income tax department. Also, your PAN must be registered with the bank.
- Now, login to your bank account on the bank’s website and select the e-verify option under the “Tax” tab. This will redirect you to the e-filing website of the income tax department.
- After this, you need to click on the “My Account” tab and select the “Generate EVC” option. A code will be sent to your registered email address and mobile number, which is valid for 72 hours.
- Now, click on the e-verify option under the “My Account” tab to verify the return. An option saying “I have EVC already” will pop up. Select this option, and after this, click on “Submit.” Your ITR will be verified.
Electronic Verification via Bank Account
The income tax department allows you to e-verify your return using your bank account. This facility is available for select banks, which are mentioned above in the EVC via Net Banking. The steps involved in this verification are as follows:
- To e-verify your Income Tax return filing using your bank account, you have to pre-validate it. After that, enter the required details such as your bank’s name, account number, IFSC Code, and mobile number.
- If your PAN details and name match with the bank account records, then your pre-validation is successful.
- After this, select “Generate EVC” option under the “My Account tab.” A code will be generated and will be sent on your mobile number. In “My Account” tab, select the “e-verify” section and enter the code.
Note: In case if you want to change your registered mobile number or registered email address, then you need to visit the bank branch for the same, and you cannot do so without permission from the bank.
Verifying tax-returns through Demat account
You can also verify your ITR filing through your Demat account if you are a Demat Account holder. You need to pre-validate your Demat account to verify your tax return. The steps involved in this verification are as follows:
- The pre-validation process is automatic and usually takes about 1-2 hours. You can use your Demat account to generate EVC only after your details are validated by your depository.
- After this, go to the profile settings and enter the required details such as your mobile number, email address, and depository name is NSDL, CDSL. Also, enter the mobile number and email id, which is linked to your bank account.
- After the pre-validation process is over, EVC is generated after the details are validated by your depository.
- Now, enter the EVC on your registered mobile number to successfully verify your ITR.
Generating E-Verification through Bank ATM
You can also verify your Income Tax Return (ITR) filing via your Bank ATM. The income tax department offers the facility to generate code through selected bank ATMs. This facility is available for selected banks only. The steps involved in this verification are as follows:
- You need to visit your Bank’s ATM and swipe your ATM card there to generate the EVC.
- After this, click on the “PIN” for the income tax filing. An EVC is sent to the registered mobile number, which is valid for 72 hours.
- Then go to the option e-verify returns” and select the ITR to verify it. Select the option “Already generate EVC through bank ATM.”
- After entering the EVC, your income tax return is verified.
Sending the signed ITR-V/ Acknowledgement Receipt
This is one of the physical means by which you can verify your ITR filing in case you are unable to verify by the electronic methods. You need to send a signed copy of the ITR-V (Acknowledgement receipt) to the department.
- Fill the ITR-V form and sign it with the blue ink. You have to send it either via speed post or ordinary post.
- No supporting documentation is required.
- The intimation is sent on your mobile phone and email id once the Tax department receives the ITR. And hence your ITR filing gets verified physically.
ITR verification is the process of validating the uploaded Income Tax Return (ITR). If you do not verify your ITR, the ITR will be null and void. You will not receive Income Tax Refund unless you verify the ITR. Thus if you delay the verification, processing of refund will also be delayed. In that case, you will have to file a belated return along with late filing penalties. Thus, you must verify your ITR within 120 days of filing. It can be done both electronically and physically be sending ITR-V by post.
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