FINISH filing your old Income Tax Returns by August 31 2016
Are you sure your IT Return has been filed and processed? Merely uploading the IT return does not finish the process. You also need to file acknowledgements of tax returns to complete the process or else the return submission is not complete.
Don’t worry, the Government has permitted all tax payers to regularise their returns for the last six assessment years by 31 August 2016 to complete the process.
The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has given a final opportunity to taxpayers to complete pending tax returns for the previous six assessment years. This is being done to regularise income tax returns that have remained pending because the ITR-V (acknowledgement) was not received by the Central Processing Cell (CPC).
Returns for AYs from 2009-10 to 2014-15, which were uploaded electronically by the taxpayer within the time allowed but have remained incomplete due to non-submission of ITR-V for verification, will also be allowed for verification through an Electronic Verification Code (EVC).
It is mandatory for all the taxpayers who have annual total income of more than Rs.5 lakh or have a refund claim, to e-file their ITR. The next step is to verify the ITR-V using any of the following methods, and this needs to be done within 120 days from filing of the return:
- Verification using a digital signature;
- Sending a signed form ITR-V to tax department’s Centralized Processing Centre (CPC).
- E-verification of ITR-V using a one time password (OTP), either through Aadhaar or Internet banking (introduced from AY 2015-16).
While most of the people generally file their returns, many forget to complete the last part of the process – verifying the ITR-V, which technically means that the return has not been filed.
Where tax filers have not submitted their ITR-V within the stipulated time period of 120 days, the return is not considered as Valid. However, the same can now be regularised for the returns from AY 2009-10 to AY 2014-15.
An intimation is generally received from the income tax department if your ITR is pending because of non-submission of ITR-V. Nonetheless, you can also find out the status yourself by logging on to the tax department’s website: https://incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in.
Under services, you will find an option ‘ITR-V Receipt Status’. Enter your Permanent Account Number (PAN) and AY or e-Filing Acknowledgement Number. If ITR-V has not been received within the prescribed time, its status will not be displayed, which will mean that you need to take steps to complete the filing process.
You can either complete the verification process through any of the methods specified above.
Interest on refunds due
If there is a pending refund, interest on it will be calculated based on the rules under section 244(A)2 of the Act. However, if your ITR-V is pending for processing due to your mistake, interest on due refunds will be calculated only till the date of filing returns.
Please make sure you use this opportunity and regularise your Income Tax Returns. This is the final opportunity provided by the Government. If not done, it will be treated as though the return was never filed – aka – does not exist. Penalty of Rs.5,000 may also be levied apart from interest on pending taxes, and other penal actions can also be taken.
We strongly recommend you to check the status of your ITR – V on the tax department’s website and do the needful as early as possible. This is a good opportunity to get your tax filings in order.
Please note – the Government has only permitted to file the ITR-V till August 31, 2016. It does not mean that you can proceed to file your Income Tax Return now, if you have not filed earlier.
Ensure you check your e-Filed Returns status to know what is the status of the Income Tax Returns filed. Below is the sample of how the screen may look for the different years that you have filed your returns.
If status is showing return uploaded, it means the return is pending for verification. You can click the green box just above the return status (which says “Click here to view your returns pending for e-verification”) and then e-verify to complete the process immediately.
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