New Delhi: Taxpayers who have filed tax returns electronically in the last five years but have not completed the filing process by authenticating these either electronically or by sending a signed physical copy can now rectify these returns by opting for a one-time opportunity, the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) said here.

CBDT said in a circular issued on Monday that taxpayers who have not verified the returns electronically filed in assessment years 2015-16 to 2019-20 can now do the verification either by sending the signed physical copy (ITR-V form) or by any of the five specified electronic methods till end of September. Since electronically filed return form is not signed by the filer, its verification by the taxpayer by other means is important as the return claims that the information given about taxable income is true.

The CBDT circular said that incomplete return forms can be verified electronically by either using a password sent to an Aadhaar-linked mobile phone, logging into the e-filing website of the tax department through net banking or by using the bank account number or the demat number or with the help of cash dispensers installed by banks (ATMs).

Usually tax ayers have four months to verify an electronically filed return from the date of uploading it. If not verified, the law mandates that the authorities can proceed against the assessee for defaulting on the filing obligation.

CBDT said extra time was being given as “a one-time measure for resolving the grievances of the taxpayers associated with non-filing of ITR-V for earlier assessment years and to regularize such returns, which have either become non-existent or have remained pending due to non-filing or non-receipt of respective ITR-V forms”.

The relief, however, does not apply in cases where officials have already taken action for ensuring compliance. Where the delay in verification is attributable to the taxpayer, it will be excluded from the period for which interest is payable on the refund. In case tax payers do not regularise their electronically filed returns for these years by end of September, “necessary consequences as provided in law for non-filing of the return may follow,” CBDT warned.

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