After submitting his/her Income Tax Return (ITR) online earlier, a taxpayer used to get 120 days’ time to verify the return and complete the process of the filing of return of income. However, the Income Tax Department has reduced the time limit drastically to just 30 days for the ITRs filed online after July 31, 2022.

“For all returns submitted before July 31, 2022, the e-verification time limit was 120 days from the date of filing. However, earlier this year, the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) issued a notification announcing that the time limit for e-verification of an income tax return (ITR) has been reduced from 120 days to 30 days with effect from August 1, 2022. Which means returns filed till 31st July 2022, shall have time to e-verify within 120 days of the date of filing. The e-verification time limit was reduced for the first time in a long while and is not done yearly,” said Archit Gupta, Founder and CEO, Clear.

The return filing process is marked complete only if the return is e-verified, else all the tax-filing efforts of the taxpayers may go in vain. A return that has not been verified shall be considered as an invalid return. The taxpayers may have to re-file. Taxpayers who complete the e-verification timely will receive a refund on a timely basis. However, if the taxpayers miss the deadline, they will have to bear additional taxes and penalties,” he added.

Advocating for allowance of some grace period before invalidating an ITR on the ground of non-verification, Gupta said, “Timely verification will also speed up the processing of all of the year’s returns by the income tax department. Not only that, Tax Experts and Chartered Accountants who assist with the filing of returns shall have more time to focus on other compliance activities once return filing is complete. Overall, this is beneficial to the entire ecosystem that the end to end return filing process is completed on a timely basis. However, a certain fixed grace period must be allowed as a last warning, before returns are invalidated due to non-verification.”