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Tax-payers now have 30 days to verify returns, here’s how to do it.

The due date to file income-tax returns (ITRs) for the assessment year 2022-23 got over on July 31.

To complete the process, you must verify your ITR if you have filed one. If the return is filed after August 1, 2022, the time limit has been reduced from August 1, 2022.

Why is verification mandatory?

To confirm the details you have filled in on the return form, you need to verify your return. In other words, by verifying the return, you make a declaration that the information provided by you in the return form is correct and complete and is in accordance with the provisions of the Income-Tax Act, 1961.

On the other hand, without verification, within the stipulated time, ITR will not be processed by the I-T department. The more you delay, the more it will take for the refund, if any, to get credited to your bank account. Further, if you do not verify in time, your return will be treated as not filed and will attract all the consequences of not filing the ITR.

Also, if you verify the return after the expiry of the stipulated time, it will be considered a belated return and penalties and fees will be levied.

The timeline

Before July 31, 2022, ITRs filed before that date can be verified within 120 days of the filing date. However, in a circular dated July 29, 2022, the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) reduced it to 30 days from the date of filing if the return is filed on or after August 1, 2022.

You can verify the return electronically instantly after filing the return, and you can do it offline too.

Offline verification

Once you file your ITR, you can download ITR-V (acknowledgment form). For the purpose of verification, duly signed or verified ITR-V in the prescribed manner should be sent by ordinary or speed post only to the Centralised Processing Centre (CPC), Income Tax Department, Bengaluru – 560500, Karnataka.

Remember, according to the new CBDT circular, the date of dispatch of the speed post of the verified ITR-V shall be considered to determine the 30 days from the date of transmitting the data of ITR electronically.

Once Form ITR-V is received at CPC-ITD, they will send a confirmation of receipt to the e-mail ID registered in the e-filing account.

E-verification of ITR

You can e-verify your ITR using any of the several modes available. If you have a digital signature, you can use it for signing your return digitally.

While digital signature comes at a cost, e-verifying the return through the electronic verification code (EVC) options is free.

You can log on to the e-filing portal, use your Aadhaar number to generate an OTP to complete the process or do it through your net banking account. You can also generate an EVC using your pre-validated bank account, demat account or bank ATM.

E-verification is a better option as it gives you an immediate confirmation of ITR verification. It also expedites the processing of returns and getting a tax refund, if any.

On successful verification, the return filing acknowledgment can be downloaded from the e-filing portal as proof of completion of the process of filing the income tax return.

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