With many taxpayers voicing concerns over the delay in getting their refunds, the income tax department has released fresh data showing the number of people who have still not verified their returns. Approximately 1.4 million income tax returns (ITRs) for AY 2023-24 have not been verified as on September 4, 2023, the income tax department said.
As of September 5, 2023, 69.8 million ITRs were filed for the Assessment Year (AY) 2023-24, out of which 68.4 million have been duly verified. Many taxpayers overlooked the verification process this assessment year, the income tax department said.
As for the processing of returns, for AY 2023-24, once a return is verified, it takes mere 10 days for the processing. This is a stark improvement from 82 days for AY 2019-20 and 16 days for AY 2022-23, it said.
Also, more than 60 million ITRs of AY 2023-24 have been processed out of the verified ITRs submitted, as on September 5, 2023, resulting in processing of over 88 per cent of the verified ITRs. More than Rs 2.45 crore in refunds for AY 2023-24 have already been issued, the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) said.
The last for filing income tax return (ITR) for the assessment year 2023-24, without penalty, was July 31, 2023. Taxpayers need to complete the verification process within 30 days of filing their ITR either digitally or send it to the central processing centre in Bengaluru by post.
Without verification, the ITR filing process is deemed incomplete. Failure to verify a return could lead to levy of fines and late fees under the provisions of the Income-tax Act, 1961.
Also, the ITRs remain stagnant, causing delays in the entire process, the income tax department said.
The process is very simple. Electronically filed ITRs can be verified through various means.
One option is to generate an OTP through your bank account with Netbanking or your dematerialised account. Alternatively, you can verify your ITR using your Aadhaar number. You may also visit a nearby ATM to e-verify your return. You will have to insert your debit card into ATM machine, punch in your PIN, click on the ‘Generate EVC for Income tax Filing’ option and use that code for e-verifying.
The income tax department has sought further information on 1.2 million verified ITRs. The department has already communicated to the taxpayers through their registered e-filing accounts for the same. Taxpayers have been requested to respond to such communication expeditiously, the income tax department said in a release.
There are also several cases in which the ITRs have been processed and refunds have also been determined, but the department is unable to issue them, as taxpayers are yet to validate their bank account in which the refund is to be credited.
The income tax department also urged taxpayers to ensure that their bank account details are up to date on the e-filing portal and also requested them to validate their bank accounts through the e-filing portal, to facilitate the seamless issuance of refunds. This is because previously validated bank account may require updation and re-validation due to change in bank account details, it said.