For professionals and others, who don’t get regular salary, Income Tax Returns (ITRs) are used as income proof for various purposes, like sourcing loans, getting insurance cover, purchasing properties and other valuable assets etc.
One of the incentives for filing returns of income regularly is that the ITRs prove that an assessee has specific income in the respective assessment years as mentioned in the Returns and has paid taxes on the income.
From the beginning of e-filing of ITRs , the ITR Verification Form or ITR-V was used as the proof of filing return even if it was not verified by sending the signed copy of ITR-V to CPC Bangalore or electronically through Aadhaar OTP, EVC or net banking.
Even after introduction of Income Tax Return Acknowledgement as a proof of verified return of income, the process of submitting ITR-V as ITR proof was continued as the format of both the documents were almost identical.
To stop the process of using unverified ITR-V as a proof of filing return of income, “This is not a proof for having filed the Return” was printed at the end of the document last year and to eliminate the chance of using it as ITR proof, all the figures – viz. income, deductions, taxes etc – have been removed from it except the assessee’s name, PAN, acknowledgement number and the section under which the return in filed.
So, instead of ITR-V, the Income Tax Return Acknowledgement – which is generated after the ITR-V is verified – may only be used henceforth as a proof of filing the return of income.
“Some taxpayers has raised the issue that they now have to share the complete income tax returns to the third parties where earlier ITR-V met the purpose. On this issue, my opinion is that it’s a completely baseless rumour, because now you can submit the copy of Income Tax Return Acknowledgement instead of ITR-V, which contains the same details which earlier ITR-V used to contain,” said CA Geetanshu Bhalla, Founder, The Virtual Compliance.
However, taxpayers need to be more careful while filling the details, as figures will not be available on ITR-V, while verifying it.
“In my opinion, the income tax return file upload on income tax portal is also available on the portal in PDF with the name ITR/Form which can be referred by the taxpayer in case of any doubt while verifying the return,” said Bhalla.
“It seems that now ITR Acknowledgement will be asked by the third parties including Passport office, Foreign embassies, financing companies, bank, schools, etc instead of ITR-V,” he added.
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