Six ways to get your tax returns verified electronically

Several taxpayers who have already e-filed or will do so by the due date of July 31 will heave a sigh of relief. Congratulations on getting your taxes done in time! Now begins the wait for your tax refund. Or a confirmation from the tax department that your return is processed. But none of this happens unless you complete a crucial step in your return filing process — verification of your income tax return (ITR).

Income tax returns must be verified after submission. This process means signing a physical copy of your ITR-V and sending it via speed post to CPC, Bengaluru. The process involved endless wait and of course the fear of ITR-V getting misplaced. But the Income Tax Department has embraced technology with a gusto. Several means of electronic verification have been introduced. You can choose any of these means to verify your tax return and skip sending the physical copy of ITR-V.

Net banking – Possibly the fastest and easiest way to verify your tax return is via netbanking. All you need to do is login to your net banking account and look for an option that says ‘e-file your tax return’ or similar. This option will take you to the income tax department site automatically. Once the department site appears you can click on ‘my pending actions’. Select ‘e-verify’, it will ask whether you want to verify your return. After you click on yes, an EVC is automatically applied to your return and it is verified. This completes your return filing process. Verifying via this option is mandatory if you are claiming a refund.

Aadhaar OTP – Another option to verify is via the Aadhaar OTP. If you have an Aadhaar card, you can link it on the Income Tax Department website. Your Aadhaar number will be linked to your PAN after validation. After your Aadhaar number has been validated, an OTP will be generated and sent to your mobile number. Use this OTP to e-verify your return. Note that the Aadhaar OTP as EVC is valid only for 10 minutes.

EVC code generated on the I-T Department website – Those with total taxable income under Rs 5 lakh can also verify via EVC code generated on the Income Tax Department website. This EVC code is sent to your mobile and email ID and is valid for 72 hours. To get the EVC to your email address/phone number, go to e-File tab and select ‘Generate EVC’. Now, you will see four options. Select the first option –‘I already have an EVC and I would like to submit EVC’. Provide the EVC in the text box. Click Submit. Your return shall be verified.

Bank details — Taxpayers can provide bank details under Profile Settings menu on www.incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in. The following details have to be provided: bank account number, IFSC code, email ID and mobile number. These details shall be validated along with PAN and name with the particulars registered with the bank. Once the details are successfully verified, a taxpayer can opt for ‘Generate EVC using bank account details’ while verifying their tax return. EVC shall be sent to the taxpayer’s email ID and/or mobile number verified from bank. This facility is currently available via PNB.

Demat account — Taxpayers can provide demat account details under Profile Settings menu on www.incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in. A taxpayer has to provide the following details:  Demat account number, email ID and mobile number. These details shall be validated along with PAN and Name with the particulars registered with depository (CDSL/NSDL).Once the details are successfully verified, the taxpayer can opt for ‘Generate EVC using DEMAT account details’ while verifying their tax return. EVC shall be sent to taxpayer’s email id and/or mobile number verified from CSDL/NSDL.

ATM – Taxpayers who do not have net banking facility can now verify by generating an EVC code through ATMs. This facility has been launched with SBI and Axis Bank ATMs.

The Income Tax Department has made available so many ways to electronically verify tax returns. Choose to e-verify this time. Once you have successfully e-verified, there is no need to send the physical ITR-V.

This article was published in Money Control on 22 July 2016.

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