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The Income Tax department made an important announcement on Tuesday, at a time when there is a rush among individuals to file income tax returns (ITR) for the financial year 2020-21.

The tax department said the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has provided one-time relaxation of e-filed ITRs for Assessment Year 2020-21 that are pending for verification due to non-submission of the ITR-V form or pending e-verification.

WHO IT IMPACTS?

While the recent notification is not related to the upcoming December 31, 2021 due date for filing ITR for FY2020-21 or AY2021-22, it will provide relief to those individuals who are yet to get verification done for all e-filed ITRs for AY2020-21 or FY2019-20.

The CBDT said: “In respect of an Income-tax Return (lTR) which is filed electronically without a digital signature, the taxpayer is required to verify it using anyone of the following modes within the time limit of 120 days from the date of uploading the ITR.”

The relaxation was provided by the income tax department after the CBDT said a large number of electronically filed ITRs for the AY2020-21 still remain pending with the department for want of receipt of a valid ITR-V Form at CPC, Bengaluru or pending e-Verification from the taxpayers.

“In law, consequences of failure to verify the ITR within the time allowed is significant as such an ITR is/can be declared non-est. Thereafter, the consequences for non-filing an ITR, as specified in the Income-tax Act,1961 (‘the Act’) follow,” the CBDT said in its statement.

“In this context, it has been decided by the board to provide one-time relaxation for submission of ITR-V/e-Verification for resolving the grievances of the taxpayers associated with non-verification of ITRs for the Assessment Year 2020-21 and to regularize such ITRs which have either become non-est or have remained pending with Income-tax Department for want of receipt of respective ITR-V Form or pending e-Verification,” it added.

Read | What is ITR V form: All you need to know

The CBDT said this relaxation shall not apply in those cases where, during the intervening period, the Income Tax department has already taken recourse to any other measure as specified in the Act for ensuring filing of tax return by the taxpayer concerned after declaring the return as non-est.

“Further, the board also relaxes the timeframe for issuing the intimation as provided in second proviso to sub-section (1) of Section 143 of the Act and directs that such returns shall be processed by 30.06.2022 and intimation of processing of such returns shall be sent to the taxpayer concerned as per the laid down procedure,” CBDT said.

“In refund cases, while determining the interest, provision of section 244A (2) of the Act would apply. It is clarified that this relaxation would be applicable to all such returns which are verified during the extended period,” it added.

The CBDT went on to add that in case a taxpayer does not get his/her return regularised by furnishing a valid verification by 28.02, 2022, necessary consequences under law for non-filing the return may follow.

Also Read | Over 4.67 crore ITRs filed so far, 15.49 lakh alone in single day

NO CONNECTION WITH UPCOMING ITR FILING DUE DATE

Taxpayers must note that the above extension is not related to the December 31, 2021 due date for filing ITR for FY2020-21. The tax department has urged taxpayers to file their ITR for the period within the due date to avoid penalties.

However, several taxpayers have claimed on social media platform Twitter that they are facing multiple issues while filing ITR on the new income tax portal. They have requested the tax department to extend the due date for filing ITR for FY2020-21.

#Extend_Due_Date_Immediately was a top trend on Twitter yesterday as taxpayers appealed to the income tax department on Twitter to extend the due date.

ALSO READ | What happens if you fail to file ITR by December 31 due date

It may be noted that taxpayers will still be able to file their income tax returns after the December 31, 2021 due date, but will face penalties based on their taxable income. The last date for filing ITR for FY2020-21 is March 31, 2022. Click here to know more about the ITR filing due date and last date.

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