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Income Tax Return: Why is ITR verification time limit reduced? Is the reduction going to stay?
December, 14th 2022

An Income Tax Return (ITR) filed online is not considered valid, unless it is verified within the prescribed limit – which was 120 days from the date of submission of the return online till July 31, 2022 and now reduced to 30 days. If anyone fails to verify his/her return of income within the given time limit, the ITR will become invalid.

“The Central Board of Direct Taxes (‘CBDT’) vide Press Release dated 27 January 2010 mandated every assessee to verify the ITR-V i.e. the acknowledgements of the tax returns filed within 120 days from the date of uploading the return of income. In case of non-compliance within the timeline of 120 days, the Income Tax Authorities might treat the said return to be defective return as per section 139(9) of the Income Tax Act, 1961 (‘IT Act’),” said Dr. Suresh Surana, Founder, RSM India.

Is this the first time the time limit has been reduced?

“Yes, it has been reduced for the first time,” said CA Karan Batra, Founder & CEO, CharteredClub.com.

“Since the issue of the aforementioned press release, the said time limit of 120 days has never been reduced. However, recently the CBDT vide Notification No. 5/2022 dated July 29, 2022 has now curtailed the said time limit from 120 days to 30 days for returns which have been filed on or after August 1, 2022. Thus, the step taken by the CBDT to reduce the time limit for verifying return of income of 30 days is for the first time,” said Dr. Surana.

Talking on the rationale of the reduction in the time limit, Dr. Surana said –

The intention seems to be to rationalise the return verification option considering that there are alternative modes of quick e-verification such as:

  • OTP on mobile number registered with Aadhaar, or
  • EVC generated through pre-validated bank account, or
  • EVC generated through pre-validated demat account, or
  • EVC through ATM (offline method), or
  • Digital Signature Certificate (DSC)

 

The said clarification is summarised in the below mentioned table:

ITR verification table

In our opinion, the following merits can be carved out from this notification:

  • Early and timely initiation of return processing as well as processing of refund, if any.
  • Speedy initial assessment procedure
  • Timely compliances

“It appears that there are no demerits of the said notification per se, however it can prove to be detrimental for an taxpayers/ assessee in whose case the default to verify is due to genuine grounds such as medical emergency/death or due to inadvertent oversight,” said Dr. Surana.

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