Filing income tax returns has a pre-phase (collecting information and figuring your taxable income), a during phase (paying the taxes and actually filing the returns) and a post phase (verifying and tracking). The post phase is like the ribbon that ties it all together because returns are not actually filed until you VERIFY them. And even after verification, you need to track any refunds due.
Step 1: Once you’ve filed your returns verify them
#1. Physically Verification Earlier returns had to be physically verified. But now people can e-verify them as well.
To physically verify your returns
- Download the ITR-V (acknowledgement form) by logging in into your e-filing account. Under ‘My Account’ section, click ‘View E-filed returns/Forms’ and hit submit. You’ll get a list of all the returns filed by you, see which years’ returns are pending verification.
- Click the acknowledgement number of the respective year’s return, and download the ITR-V.
- Sign this copy in blue ink.
- Send it via speed or post (no courier) to Income Tax Centralized Processing Centre (CPC) in Bangalore within 120 days from the date of filing your returns.
- Don’t forget to keep another copy of this document with you just for your records.
- Once it is received by the CPC you’ll get a confirmation email or you can check the status on the IT website. Your returns will only be processed after it is verified.
#2. Electronic Verification E-verifying returns are easier, faster and smoother. Now there are multiple ways to e-verify your returns. You can pick the one that suits you best.
- Through net-banking Log into to your net banking account, click on the option Income Tax e-filing to log in to your income tax account, go to “My Account” menu and click on “e-verify return”. List of all the returns uploaded which can be e-verified will appear and with this, you can e-verify your returns for the concerned year.
- Through Aadhaar You can opt for this only if your Aadhaar and PAN are linked. Once that’s done, upload your ITR through the Income Tax e-Filing website then you’ll be asked to pick an option e-verify
- I already have an EVC* to e-verify my return.
- I do not have an EVC and would like to generate EVC to e-Verify my return.
- I would like to generate Aadhaar OTP to e-Verify my return.
- I would like to send ITR-V/I would like to e-verify Later.
*(EVC-Electronic Verification Code)
Select the third option of generating Aadhaar OTP which will be sent to the mobile number registered on your Aadhaar. Enter this OTP on the page and click submit. You’ll receive a confirmation message and email stating that your returns are successfully e-verified. Don’t forget to download this for your records.
Ideally e-verify your returns rather than physically doing it because it instantly starts processing your returns and you’ll get your refunds (if any) faster.
Step 2: Wait for a month to get an Intimation from the IT department
When your returns are verified and you receive a confirmation email about the same, the IT department starts processing your returns. Once your returns are processed you’ll receive another email and a post (usually after a month) from the IT department called Intimation. The intimation informs you if you need to pay any more tax along with interest as a penalty or if you’re eligible for any refunds.
You’ll be eligible for refunds if the taxes you’ve paid by way of (TDS, advance tax or self-assessment tax) exceeds your actual tax liability. You’ll have to pay more tax if there is a discrepancy in the returns filed by you. Example, TDS/taxes paid are not matching with the Form 26AS details.
The intimation or notice has two columns
- One stating the details as provided by you (taxpayer/assessee) when you filed returns
- The other stating details as computed by the IT department under section 143(1)
If both columns match, then this intimation serves as a final assessment of the return.
If tax paid is less than what is computed by the Income-tax department then this intimation becomes a Notice of Demand u/s 156 and you’ll have to pay the remaining tax along with any penalty. If the tax paid is more than the income computed by the department then you’ll be granted a refund which will be sent by cheque or credited to your bank account mentioned.
P.S.: If there’s no refund due or tax payable and you’ve not received any Intimation within 12 months, the acknowledgement to the return (ITR-V) is deemed to be the intimation under the Act.
Step 3: Track your refunds or pay up your taxes if due
- Check Refund Status
To check your refund status on the Income Tax website, just follow these steps:
Step 1: Login/Register on Income-tax website
Step 2: Click on My Account >> e-Filed Returns/Forms.
Step 3: Click on Ack. No. of concerned Assessment Year.
- Pay up any tax due if anyIf you think the demand for tax due is incorrect you can get it corrected. Now, the IT department lets you file a rectification request online through your e-filing account and usually they’ll respond to your request within 6 months. But if the tax demand raised is legitimate then pay the tax promptly or else your interest penalty would continue to accumulate.
That was all the post-prep required once you’ve filed your returns! For further questions comment and let us know.