An assessee is allowed to verify his/her Income Tax Return within 120 days of e-filing the return of income to complete the return filing process. Unless verified within the stipulated time period of 120 days, it is treated that the ITR is not filed and the assessee may face prosecution under various sections of the Income Tax Act for non filing of return of income.
While in some cases, the Income Tax Department starts recovery proceedings even on unverified ITRs filed with ‘Tax Payable’, but ITRs with ‘Tax Refund’ are generally not processed unless they are verified.
In case of offline filing of return of income, manual submission of the ITR completes the filing process, but in case of e-filing, it’s mandatory to get the return verified within 120 days from the date of filing of the return online.
A return may be verified either by sending a signed copy of ITR-V to CPC, Bangalore through speed post/ordinary post or by e-verification through OTP.
However, a large number of electronically filed ITRs are still pending with the Income Tax Department as many taxpayers forget to send the ITR-V to the Central Processing Centre (CPC) or get the ITRs e-verified.
So, the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has decided to provide one-time relaxation for verification of e-filed ITRs for Assessment Years (AYs) 2015-16 to 2019-20, which may be done by sending a physical copy of ITR-V to CPC, Bangalore or via EVC/OTP modes latest by September 30, 2020.
However, an assessee will not be able to avail the relaxation to get a return of any of the previous AYs verified, in case the Income Tax Department has already taken recourse to any other measure against a taxpayer as specified in the Act for ensuring filing of return of income by the taxpayer concerned after declaring the return as non est.
While the deadline for availing the benefit of getting ITRs of previous years verified is September 30, 2020, the due of filing ITR for AY 2020-21 has been extended to November 30, 2020 due to the disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.