Few years ago in 2007 the Income Tax Department introduced e-filing of income tax returns. The only small physical step involved was the sending of ITR V to CPC Bengaluru. However the ITD even had an option of digitally signing the ITR in order to eliminate this step of sending the ITR V through post. This option was however used only by a select few.
Though initially the ITR-V had to be printed, signed and sent via regular post within 30 days after submitting electronic returns, the deadline was later extended to 120 days as many couldn’t ensure the returns reached in time. Thanks to the advent of technology adopted by the Income Tax Department, now majority of taxpayers will be able to e-verify their returns in a very smooth and easy manner as the Income Tax Department has permitted online verification of electronically filed returns vide Notification No. 2/2015.
You can e-verify either when you are uploading your return (through income tax filing website or through netbanking) or even after you have uploaded your return. The good news is that there are multiple sources through which you can generate your e-verification code (EVC) – through netbanking, Aadhar card or even your bank’s ATM channel. Your e-verification code generation request sent through these sources can help you receive a 10-digit alpha numeric number, which is valid for the next 72 hours.
If you have income below Rs 5 lakh and you do not have any refunds then you would receive the -verification code directly in your email box and your registered mobile number. In all other cases you would have to generate the e-verification code using the Income tax e-filing account, Aadhar Card, netbanking or ATM. Let’s handhold you through this new, but seamless process just launched by the Income Tax Department.
As soon as you go to the website www.incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in, you would come across a bar “e-file”. Here once you select “Upload return” to submit your tax returns which have been diligently prepared, then four options would be thrown open to you to help you electronically verify the returns you just uploaded.
a. Already have EVC: If your income is below Rs 5 lakh and you aren’t claiming any refunds then track your emails or mobile messages as the EVC would have been sent. Such people who already have the EVC can select the first option of “I already have an EVC and would like to Submit EVC”. Once you opt for this, you can enter the EVC in a box given below. You have cleared your tax filing and verifying milestone and you can rest in peace by downloading the acknowledgement as evidence.
b. Need to generate EVC: If you do not possess the EVC, then you should head to the next option “I would like to generate the EVC.” You would be given two options wherein you can generate the EVC through your netbanking account or have it sent to your email id and mobile number.
EVC through netbanking: If you seek to generate it through netbanking you would have to go to the relevant bank website and key in your username password. You can e-file through this netbanking channel and select the link re-direction to income tax e-filing website where you may generate your EVC and then key in your EVC in the relevant check box and click “E-verify Return”.
EVC to your email/ mobile: Alternatively you can simply select the option of “Generate EVC to registered email ID or mobile number”. The EVC thus received can be keyed in a box provided while uploading the return and your task of e-verification of e-filed returns would be accomplished.
c. EVC through ATM: Bank automated teller machines can help you execute multiple tasks and the freshest addition to the list of tasks is to help you generate your EVC. Just insert or dip your ATM card in the relevant bank machine. Under the list of transactions you would find an option of “Generate my EVC”. Once you select this option, the verification code would be sent to your mobile number, registered with the bank, which can be used to e-verify returns within 72 hours.
d. EVC using Aadhar linkage: Before you opt for the option “I would like to generate Aadhar OTP to e-verify my return,” you need to ensure that your Aadhar number is linked with your PAN. Else you would first be required to link the Aadhar card to your PAN using the button “Link Aadhar.” The one-time password (OTP) would be sent to the mobile number registered as per your Aadhar details. However, the validity of this OTP isn’t 72 hours, but 10 minutes as it is generated by UIDAI and not the Income Tax Department.
This password should be submitted in the box provided and you would stride past the e-verification post. The acknowledgement provided next should be preserved.
e. E-verify later: If due to any technical difficulty you haven’t been able to trace your EVC or are unable to receive it, you can even opt for “I would like to e-verify later” or “I would like to send the ITR-V.”You can try your luck again, by logging into your income tax e-filing account. Else, head to the Post office to sign and mail the ITR-V, which is the acknowledgment, to the Income Tax Central Processing Centre in Bengaluru.
So, far the facility to e-verify is the simplest when done through the net-banking facility. Once the returns have been prepared, you only need to login to your net-banking account, using which you can e-file too. You need to select the “Upload Return” bar and submit the returns by browsing. Once the return is uploaded you would be offered three options:
a. E-verify now: You can e-verify the return immediately as you have already logged into your net-banking account. By selecting the “I would like to e-verify my return now” option your task is accomplished and you would be lead to the page for downloading the acknowledgement. Voila! Your returns have been filed and e-verified too.
b. E-verify using Aadhar: Aadhar is an ally for e-verifying your returns as it can help you get the one-time password on your mobile number. This password can be keyed in to e-verify and then download the acknowledgement. However, there are instances where the Aadhar Card and PAN aren’t linked to your savings bank account through which you have logged in to e-file the return. Under such circumstances you can link the Aadhar Card using the option “Link Aadhar”. Once linked, you can request for the password on your mobile phone number and e-verify.
c. E-verify later: If you are getting confused or finding it difficult to navigate you can e-verify later or even send the physical acknowledgment to the Bengaluru CPC.
If you have already uploaded your return before these e-verification rules were notified by the Income Tax department, then you needn’t vex about having missed the opportunity. You can still e-verify the returns, uploaded within the past 120 days.
Select the e-file link and later, the e-verify option, under which you will find a table of the returns already filed during the last 120 days. You can select the return which needs to be e-verified using the same method explained earlier for requesting EVC through e-filing account, netbanking, ATM or Aadhar Card.
For those who aren’t able to e-verify the return through the new facility, an option of physically sending the ITR-V to the Bengaluru CPC exists too. You can select the option “I would like to send ITR-V”, which would lead you to the link to download your ITR-V.
So go ahead, e-verify your income tax return and save your trip to the post office to send physical acknowledgment.