For most taxpayers, filing their annual tax returns is a harrowing experience, thanks to the extensive details they have to furnish. As a result, many tend to forget to cover the last mile – making sure that returns are verified, which is when the filing process is truly considered complete.
Filing your returns electronically is part one of the process. For it to be completed, you need to either e-verify your returns using net banking or AADHAAR-based OTP through the e-filing portal (www.incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in) or download the form ITR-V and send it to the I-T department’s central processing centre in Bengaluru.
If you choose the physical verification, you need to make sure that your ITR-V reaches the I-T Department’s Bengaluru centre (Post Bag No 1, Electronic City Post Office, Bengaluru, Karnataka-560100) within 120 days of having filed the returns online. While your return will not be considered invalid if you do not meet the deadline, there will be consequences. In the Union Budget announced recently, the government has proposed to levy a penal fee on late-filers.
When you send your ITR-V to the Bengaluru centre, ensure that you take the postal route – either ordinary or speed post. If you courier the form, it will not be accepted.
Once you download the ITR-V, take a print-out in black ink using a laser printer. The I-T department has directed taxpayers to avoid using dot matrix printers.
Next, make sure that you sign the form only in blue ink. Remember, only the original document will be valid and not the photocopies. You must sign only in the designated space provided in the form. Do not put your signature on the Barcode.
Do not attach any documentary proofs like bank statements or donation receipts to your form ITR-V. Likewise, do not send any explanatory or covering letter to the authorities. In short, ensure that your envelope contains nothing but the signed ITR-V.
Only a white, A4 size sheet should be used to take the print-out. Do not type or write anything on the bar code or the reverse side of the ITR-V. If you have had to revise your return after filing it online and you intend to submit both the original and revised return, get them printed on two separate sheets.
Finally, do not assume that the rules are flimsy or inconsequential. The Income Tax department (I-T) has made it clear that ITR-V that does not follow the rules laid down can get rejected. Alternatively, you might have to face delays in receiving the acknowledgement of receipt. The ideal approach is to simply complete the entire process electronically by using e-verification facilities.