E-filing of IT returns or the process of submitting tax returns online, (using tax preparation software approved by the income tax department of India), is witnessing rapid growth with more and more taxpayers increasingly opting for it across the country. The due date for filing tax returns (physical or online), is July 31.
Where do you file your IT Returns?
Taxpayers can file returns either through the IT department’s official website or several other authorised sites such as ERI Taxspanner.com, Taxyogi.com, Taxsmile.com, taxshax.com and myITreturn.com among others.
Why do you have to e-file your IT Returns?
- Environment friendly
From acknowledgment of ITR forms to refunds, the process is faster compared to paper filing.
E-Filing software helps reduce errors due to inbuilt mechanisms.
Taxpayers can file their returns anytime and from any location at their convenience.
E-filing is safer as opposed to paper based filing which can be easily tampered with.
E-filing software applications, by and large, allow easier access to information.
E-filing needs almost no paperwork as opposed to paper based filing.
The table below clearly shows the significant growth of e-filing income tax returns in the country.
|Forms||No. of people who have filed returns online during FY 2013-14||No. of people who have filed returns online during FY 2014-15||Growth (y-o-y) %|
E-filing of returns is mandatory for the following:
- Every company or every AOP or BOI.
- An individual [apart from a company and a person required to produce IT returns in ITR 7 ] whose income is above Rs. 5 lakh during the previous year.
- A firm, individual or HUF (Hindu Undivided Family) who need to get their accounts audited under section 44AB.
- Every individual claiming tax relief under section 90, 90A or section 91.
- A political party, if its taxable income is above a specific amount, not having claimed exemptions U/S 13A,
- Resident and HUF with signing authority, asset or financial interest in any firm abroad.
If the taxpayer adds his or her digital signature (can cost around Rs. 1,500) while e-filing income tax returns, the process is complete in that it requires no further action. The taxpayer will then receive the acknowledgement by the income tax department through email. However, if the taxpayer files his or her returns online sans the digital signature, the process of e-filing is not complete. The returns should, therefore, be forwarded to the Central Processing Centre (CPC) of the income tax department in Bangalore.
E-filing of return with digital signature is mandatory for the following:
- All companies.
- A firm, individual or HUF required to get their accounts audited under section 44AB
- A political party, if income is above the stated limit, without claiming exemptions under section 13A, which is not chargeable to tax.
Income Tax Return-Verification form (ITR-V)
A taxpayer who e-files income tax returns without his or her digital signature, has to post the ITR-V to the income tax department's Central Processing Centre in Bangalore, failing which the returns will be considered invalid.
ITR-V (Income Tax Return - Verification form issued as an acknowledgement of returns) is a one page document which is received by the taxpayer when returns are filed online without using a digital signature. It is sent by the income tax department which needs to verify the authenticity of e-filing returns sans a digital signature.
Measures to be taken for Proper Documentation:
The password of the document consists of PAN (in lower case) in addition to the date of birth (ddmmyyyy). Taxpayers should adhere to the following instructions before sending their ITR-V forms to CPC, Bangalore.
- Only A4 size paper should be used by taxpayers.
- Print out should be clear and not faded.
- Taxpayers should sign the document in blue ink.
- There should be no signatures on the bar code.
- The bar code and numbers below it should be clear.
- The document should not be folded and stapled.
- No annexures, pre-stamped envelopes and so forth should be sent along with the ITR-V form.
- Two separate papers should be used for printing original and revised returns.
- The ITR-V form should reach CPC within 120 days of filing of returns.
- ITR-Vs that deviate from the aforementioned specifications may get rejected or get late acknowledgement of receipt.
Process Complete: CPC Bangalore – Address:
On receipt of the ITR-V form, the taxpayer has to sign the copy of the form (in blue ink) and need not send any supporting documents with it. The envelope should be sent to following address.
Income Tax Department - CPC, Post Box No - 1, Electronic City Post Office, Bangalore - 560100, Karnataka, India.
When do you get acknowledgement receipt from CPC?
It usually takes CPC about 3 weeks from the date of posting the ITR-V form to send acknowledgement to the taxpayer’s email id. If the taxpayer does not receive any acknowledgement for over 3 weeks, he or she needs to post another copy to the income tax department.
What to do when you do not receive an acknowledgement?
If the taxpayer does not receive an acknowledgement, he or she can download it from the income tax website by logging in through the online account. The acknowledgement will be available under 'E-filing processing status' under the tab 'My Account'. Also, the acknowledgement receipt can be checked by adding one’s PAN and assessment year or by entering the e-filing acknowledgement number on the 'ITR-V Receipt Status' tab under 'Services' section on the website.
Taxpayers can also contact the CPC call centre at 1800-4250-0025 (9am to 8pm) to know about the status of their e-filing returns or 1800-425-2229 in case of any rectification and refund.
If the returns are filed after the end of the assessment year, a penalty of Rs. 5000 can be levied by the income tax department under section 271F. If the returns are not filed before the due date, as per section 139(1), loss incurred during the year under the bracket ‘profits and gains of business and professions’ and ‘capital gains’ cannot be taken forward by the taxpayer to the next year.
The Aadhaar Connection:
The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) recently introduced a new system wherein an Aadhaar-based electronic verification code will be sent to taxpayers for authentication, thereby obviating the need to send copies to CPC for verification.
The new system is only another alternative of filing returns in that those who wish to send their ITR-V forms to Bengaluru centre or use digital signatures can continue to do so. Also, those who do not possess an Aadhaar card will have to stick to the current system.
In the new system, an additional row provided in the Income Tax Return (ITR) forms will enable taxpayers (assessment year 2015-16) to enter their Aadhaar card number, following which, a one-time password is generated for verification. The verification number, should then be entered into the ITR form to complete the e-filing process.
Frequently Asked Questions: Sending ITR-V to CPC
- Can I send the ITR-V to CPC through courier or registered post?
A) No. You cannot send use anything other than ordinary post or speed post, where you do not need an acknowledgement from the receiver.
- Can I sign the ITR-V and then send a photocopy of it to the CPC?
A) No. The ITR-V has to be signed in original and not photocopied. The signature should not be done on the barcode.
- Can I use a recycled paper to print the ITR-V?
A) As eco-friendly as the idea is, the CPC does not accept ITR-Vs that have anything else printed on the other side.
- Can I send more than 1 ITR-V in the same envelope?
A) Yes. There is no restriction on the number of ITR-Vs you can send in the same envelope to CPC. However, ensure that the barcode is not tampered with and that the ITR-Vs are not stapled together.
- If I fail to download the ITR-V after filing the return, where will I find it for future reference?
A) The ITR-V is available on your Income Tax e-filing profile. Sign in to the site, go to ‘My Account’ and choose ‘My Returns/Forms’. You will find all ITR-Vs that you have filed online, at this location.
- Is there any way I can verify my Income Tax Return without having to send the physical copy to CPC?
A) Yes. You can choose either electronic verification code (EVC) or Aadhaar Card verification instead of sending the physical copy. First you need to link your Aadhaar with PAN to facilitate the e-verification.
- Can I do an online verification for ITR-Vs other than the immediate preceding year?
A) Earlier, the department did not permit ITR-Vs of assessment years other than the one immediately preceding the current fiscal, to be verified online. However, in a recent circular, the Income Tax Department has said that regularisation of ITR-Vs from 2009-10 to 2014-15 can be done through EVC for the convenience of the taxpayer. However, this has to be done before July 31, 2016 – this is an extended deadline and a final opportunity for regularisation of ITRs.
News About Income Tax Return-Verification form
Consumer electronics valued below Rs. 50,000 exempt from custom duty in India
The Ministry of Commerce and Industry in India has passed an amendment to an existing provision that governs the custom duty imposed on consumer electronic items imported to the country.
The amendment states that electronic items (excluding hearing aids, life saving equipments, apparatus, appliances, and parts thereof) valued less than Rs. 50,000 will be exempt from custom duty. For items valued Rs. 50,000 and above, a minimum custom fee will be charged. This fee is the sum of the cost, insurance and freight charges, i.e., approx. 2-3% of the actual MSRP in other regions.
Moreover, consumers who get their items shipped to the country as ‘gifts’ need to produce substantial proof in order to avoid custom charges.
23rd August 2016
IT Dept. widens ATM-based validation facility
The Income Tax Department has been finding new ways and means to ease the process of e-filing of income tax returns for taxpayers. The latest in this direction is the introduction of ATM-based validation of ITR-V. Axis bank is the next bank to be included in this after State Bank of India joined in last month. These ATM-enabled verifications will generate Electronic Verification Code which can be used for e-filing. SBI had activated this facility last month and soon other popular private and public banks are expected to join in too.
The information regarding this new feature is available on the official website of the Income Tax Department. The idea is to do away with the trouble of physical posting of ITR-V to the IT Department and to make the process as hassle-free as possible.
15th July 2016
Chance to file income tax returns for the past 6 assessment years
The Central Board for Direct Taxes has come up with a chance for all taxpayers to submit their income tax verification or ITR-V form for the past 6 assessment years by the end of August 2016. The department wants to clear up returns which are either non-existent or pending due to non-filing of the income tax verification document.
Once a taxpayer files his or her income tax return, the next step is to verify the same and send it across in the form of ITR-V to the Income Tax Department. A lot of people miss this second step as a result of which their income tax return is not filed completely. To reduce such pending cases, the CBDT came up with a chance for all taxpayers to correct this by 30th August, 2016. In case you have filed for income tax and missed to file the verification of the same then here is your chance to get it rectified. Currently, with the launch of e-verification, the verification process of ITR has become easier and more convenient.
5h July 2016
CBDT has declared Aug 31 as deadline for pending ITRs
Taxpayers whose ITRs for the last 6 assessment years are pending for further processing due to non-filing of ITR-V should do so before August 31, 2016. Pending refunds and tax issues for assessment years, 2009-10 to 2014-15 are required to authenticate the ITR by means of electronic verification by Aadhaar or via facility available on the web portal of the Income Tax Department.
Alternatively, a copy of the ITR-V can also be sent by speed post to the Central Processing Center (CPC) in Bengaluru before the deadline.
3rd June 2016
August 31 set as Deadline to file Pending Returns
The Central Board of Direct Taxes has set August 31st as the deadline for tax assessees to regularise and authenticate their income tax returns. The CBDT has stated that those taxpayers who have refunds as well as tax issues pending for the assessment years 2009-10, 2010-11, 2011-12, 2012-13, 2013-14 and 2014-15 can now authenticate their returns before the deadline date expires. Assessees can do so either via electronic verification through Aadhaar or through the bank account based facility provided on the income tax website. They also have to option of posting a copy of the ITR-V form to the Central Processing Centre in Bangalore. The CBDT has stated that this is the final opportunity for taxpayers to regularise and file their pending income tax returns for the years mentioned. The decision to set a deadline came about due to the huge number of electronically file returns that are still pending with the IT department due to the non-filing of the ITR-V acknowledgement forms.
19th May 2016
Aadhaar Holders do not have to submit Physical ITR-V
As per Income Tax Department’s latest tax forms, those who have an Aadhaar number do not have to send their Income Tax Return Verification (ITR-V) by post after filing their return online. This can be done even if you do not have a digital signature.
The I-T Department is integrating the electronic verification code (EVC) system-endorsed with the ITR form, which will ensure that the return will be authenticated through the system and no longer requires the physical ITR-V copy.
The income tax return process is not truly complete until the ITR-V is verified and confirmed. Postal delays and transit loss has resulted in some ITR-Vs getting undelivered, and the return process being considered invalid.
6th May 2016