In a taxpayer-friendly move, the income tax department has allowed electronic verification of tax returns even for previous years in cases where the returns may have remained incomplete due to failure of the taxpayers to post physically signed tax return acknowledgement forms to the central processing centre in Bengaluru.
Till last year, all taxpayers who filled the tax return form online had to follow it up by sending a signed copy of the acknowledgement form to the central processing centre of the tax department in Bengaluru or opt for the more expensive option of getting a digital signature.
If the signed copy does not reach the tax department for any reason, then the return was not considered as valid. This led to refunds of taxpayers getting stuck.
However, last year, the tax department introduced electronic verification of the tax return. It provided taxpayers a choice of either verifying their return by logging into their bank account or through electronic verification using the Aadhaar unique identity number. With this, taxpayers did not have to go through the hassle of posting their signed tax returns.
Hoping to reduce the backlog, the central board of direct taxes (CBDT) has now proposed to extend this facility to all incomplete tax returns uploaded online from assessment year 2009-10 to 2014-15. The tax department has set a deadline of 31 August for completion of the verification process.