You have filed your Income Tax Returns (ITR) and are satisfied that you have accomplished one of the most important tasks related to your finances. But, are you sure you have completed all your formalities pertaining to returns? If you haven’t verified your returns yet, it is as good as not filing returns! As per the directives of the income tax department, the filing of returns is deemed complete only upon verification of returns. Click here to file this year’s return.
Till 2014, an assessee could verify returns either by using digital signature or sending the physical copy of ITR V by post to the central processing centre at Bengaluru within 120 days of filing returns. However, in 2015, the income tax department introduced a simple and paperless process called Electronic Verification Code (EVC) to verify the returns. This initiative also marks the complete digitization of the process of filing of returns.
More about EVC
- It is a 10-digit alphanumeric code
- It is unique to each PAN
- It can be generated only when you e-file
- A single EVC is valid for only one single return. In case, you are filing revised returns, EVC needs to be generated again
Surprisingly, only 12.8 lakh out of 62.19 lakh taxpayers have used e-verification process last year, as reported by the website of the income tax department. Sudhir Kaushik, the co-founder of Taxspanner, believes that most people are not aware of EVC. He says, “The method is not complicated and most of the taxpayers who e-file are tech-savvy. So, there seems to be a lack of awareness”.
Here are various ways to generate EVC and e-verify your returns.
If your bank is authorized by the income tax department (most of the major banks are), then electronic verification of returns can be completed on your bank’s website as well. You must ensure that your PAN should be updated and validated through KYC as well as that your mobile number is registered in your bank records. Use your login username and password to enter the bank’s website and look for the link to redirect you to www.incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in. This will give you direct access to the official e-filing website, where you can E-verify your return.
To exercise this option, your Aadhaar card and PAN card should be linked. If they are not linked, then you can do so on www.incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in. An OTP will be sent to your registered mobile number which needs to be entered on e-filing website to verify your returns. Do remember that the OTP is valid only for ten minutes, so entire process needs to be completed in one go.
The income tax department has also authorized the ATMs of some banks to e-verify the returns. You require an ATM / debit card and pin to generate EVC. The ATM will show an option ‘Generate EVC’, after selecting which EVC will be be sent to your registered mobile number. You can then use this EVC to verify your returns. EVC through ATM is in particularly convenient for those who have not activated internet banking services of their bank account.
Bank account number validation
The income tax department has also started the e-verification of returns by validation of the bank account number. For this option to work, one of your bank accounts needs to be pre-validated. If a particular bank account number is already pre-validated, then by entering the bank account details, you can complete the e-verification process.
Demat account number validation
Along with the bank account number validation, the income tax department has also introduced e-verification of returns based on the demat account number validation. The process is similar to that of the bank account number validation, except that in this type of e-verification, the user will get EVC on the registered mobile number (mobile number entered while pre-validating the demat account). Once this EVC is entered, your e-verification is complete.
Income Tax Website
This method can be followed by those whose total income before any allowable deductions is Rs. 5 laksh or less and there is no refund claim in their ITR. Such taxpayers can log in to www.incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in and click on e-filing where there is an option of “Generate EVC”. The website will request you to choose between e-filing OTP and EVC through net banking. Select e-filing OTP, post which it will be sent to your registered mobile number and e-mail id. Enter both OTPs on the e-filing website to complete the verification process. Please note that EVC generated through through this method expires after 72 hours.
When all of the above fails….
If due to some reason you are not able to verify returns from any of the above methods, you can still use the good old method of physical verification or digital signature. However, sooner you learn and adopt e-verification method, better it is to avoid any complications in filing returns or claiming refunds.
The last date of filing your returns without penalty for the assessment year 2016-17 is 31st July, 2016. The return can be verified immediately at the time of filing returns or later on within the time limit of 120 days from the date of online filing.
In case, you have more queries pertaining to filing or e-verification of returns, TaxSpanner can assist you. Feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 011 39595016.
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