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5 ways to verify your income tax return
July, 01st 2016

With just a little over 4 weeks left till the deadline for filing income tax returns (ITR), most people have started filing their ITR.

An ITR after being filed has to be verified by the assessee. It is not treated as valid until it is verified by the taxpayer. In the existing process, a taxpayer can verify his/her return electronically or physically (i.e by sending signed ITR-V to Centralized processing Center (CPC) in Bangalore).

Individuals/ HUFs who file their return in form ITR-4 and are required to get there accounts audited have to compulsorily file their returns using Digitally Signed Certificate. Consequently, they do not need to verify the returns as the returns are digitally signed. Taxpayers have the option to e-verify their respective returns at the time of uploading or after uploading. In case of an already-uploaded return, taxpayers can e-verify the same by clicking on the e-verify the same by clicking on the "e-Verify Return" option under the "e-file" tab after logging into the site.

Taxpayers can verify the return using any one of the following methods:

E-verification modes
1. EVC received on the registered mobile number and e-mail. Electronic Verification Code (EVC) is a 10 digit alphanumeric code which can be generated through an e-Filing portal and is valid for 72 hours.

2. Aadhaar OTP

3. Login to e-Filing through net banking.

4. Bank account-based validation

Physical Verification / Paper verification
5. Alternatively, you can verify your return by sending the physical acknowledgment (ITR-V) to CPC Bangalore.

How to e-verify through EVC: Under this alternative, two options are displayed to the taxpayers, which are:
1. "I already have an EVC to e-verify my return."
2. "I do not have an EVC and I would like to generate EVC to e-verify my return."

Under the first option, the user sees a screen where he has to enter the pre-generated EVC in the provided text box and click "Submit" to e-verify. No further action is required.

Under the second option, the user can get the EVC on his registered email ID and mobile number. (This option is available for taxpayers whose total income is less than Rs 5 lakh and there is no refund).

Also read: Step-wise filing of ITR & all the links you need

Click "EVC - to registered email ID and mobile number". Enter the EVC received in your mobile number and email ID in the provided text box and click "Submit". You will receive a system generated message that your return has been e-verified. You should keep a printout of this message. No further action is required.

How to e-verify through Net Banking:
You can log-into your net banking account and click on the "income tax e-filing tab" and subsequently you will be redirected straight to the income tax site.
After logging into the income tax site, click on the option "View Returns/ Forms" to see e-filed tax returns. Then select the option "Click here to view your returns pending for e-verification" and then click on "e-verify". No further action is required.

How to e-verify through Aadhaar OTP:
To generate Aadhaar OTP (One-Time-Password), the taxpayer's PAN and Aadhaar must be linked to the income tax website and your mobile number must be linked to your Aadhar.

If your Aadhaar is not linked to the income tax e-filing portal, then a pop-up will appear every time you log in to your account, which would ask you to link your Aadhaar with the e-filing portal. You just need to fill in your Aadhaar number in the box given in the pop-up and your Aadhaar will get linked to the e-filing portal.

OTP is generated and sent to the mobile number registered with Aadhaar. So make sure that your correct phone number is updated in your Aadhaar card details. Enter Aadhaar OTP in the text box provided and click on 'Submit'. Success page is displayed. No further action is required.

Note that the Aadhaar OTP as EVC is valid only for 10 minutes.

How to e-verify through Bank Account-based Validation System:
This is the most recent mode introduced by the Income Tax Department for the assessee to e-verify their return. Now taxpayers e-verify their ITRs by providing their banks details like account number, Indian Financial System Code (IFSC), email address and mobile phone number. These details will then be validated against the details with the bank. Electronic Verification Code (EVC) will be sent by the e-filing portal to the assessee's email ID and mobile number, which he or she can use to e-verify the return. This would help those assessees to e-verify their ITRs who do not have the Aadhaar card or Net banking facility, but do have a bank account. If you e-verify using any of the above methods you will receive a system generated message that your return has been e-verified. You should keep a printout of this message.

How to physically verify by sending ITR-V :
If the taxpayer is not able to e-verify immediately because of any reason, then he/she can download the ITR-V, sign it manually and send it to CPC through post. This ITR-V should reach CPC within 120 days from the date of upload of the return to be treated as a valid return.

ITR-V is a one page document which you need to sign in blue ink and send it via ordinary post or speed post. You cannot courier the ITR-V. If you've downloaded the ITR-V from the Income Tax Department's website, you'll need a password to open it.

Password to open ITR-V is your PAN number in lower letters along with DOB. If your PAN is "AAAPA1111F" and DOB is 01/01/1975, then your password will be "aaapa1111f01011975".

You do not need to send any supporting document along with the ITR-V. Just send the one page signed ITR-V.

When your duly signed ITR-V is received and entered in the records at CPC you will receive an email at your registered email ID that the ITR-V has been received and your return has been verified.

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