Tax refunds for past years stuck in ITR filing process? You have an opportunity to get them now

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Updated: Jul 14, 2020 4:43 PM

Apart from the statutory compliance, one of the motivating factors of filing Income Tax Return (ITR) is claiming the refund of excess taxes paid.

income tax, income tax return, ITR, income tax refund, verification of ITR, e-filing of ITR, e-verification, offline verification, one-time relaxation for verification of e-filed ITRs, CBDTNormally, an assessee needs to verify the return of income within 120 days of e-filing the ITR, else the Return is considered as invalid.

Apart from the statutory compliance, one of the motivating factors of filing Income Tax Return (ITR) is claiming the refund of excess taxes paid. However, your tax refund will not be considered unless you verify the Return either electronically through EVC/OTP or by sending it through normal or speed post to CPC, Bangalore, as filing of a return of income is not considered as complete without verification.

Normally, an assessee needs to verify the return of income within 120 days of e-filing the ITR, else the Return is considered as invalid.

In case a claim is made for refund of excess tax deposited by an assessee through an ITR, the claim would normally be processed only after the Return is verified within the stipulated time.

However, if an assessee files a return of with ‘Tax Payable’, the Income Tax Department may initiate the action to recover the taxes due even if the ITR is not verified.

With a large number of electronically filed ITRs still pending with the Income Tax Department for receipt of valid ITR-V from taxpayers, the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has decided to provide one-time relaxation for verification of e-filed ITRs for Assessment Years (AYs) 2015-16 to 2019-20, which are considered pending due to non-filing of the ITR-V form.

As a result, assessees will have a chance to get such Returns – in respect of AYs 2015-16, 2016-17, 2017-18, 2018-19 and 2019-20 – verified either by sending a physical copy of ITR-V to CPC, Bangalore or via EVC/OTP modes latest by September 30, 2020.

However, in case the Income Tax Department has already taken recourse to any other measure against a taxpayer as specified in the Act for ensuring filing of return of income by the taxpayer concerned after declaring return as non est, the assessee will not be able to avail the relaxation to get such a Return verified.

So, in case your refund request is not processed due to non-verification of the ITR, you may resolve your grievances associated with non-filing of ITR-V by verifying your return(s) of income of previous AYs through any of the prescribed modes by September 30, 2020 and get the refund amount credited to your account.

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