The income tax department said on Tuesday it had sought information from about 1.2 million ITR filers. It also said nearly 1.4 million filers had yet to have their returns verified, causing delays in their processing.
As of September 5, about Rs 6.98 billion ITRs for the assessment year 2023-24 (fiscal year 2022-23) have been submitted, of which Rs 6.84 billion have been verified, the ministry said in a statement. As of now, the verified ITRs have been processed, over Rs. 6 crore has been processed and more than 88% of the verified ITRs have been processed. Refunds of over Rs 245 crore have been disbursed in 2023-24.
July 31st is the deadline for salaried and HUF assessors (whose accounts do not need to be edited) to submit their returns. However, they can file late returns before December 31 and pay a late fee of Rs 1,000-5,000.
Regarding the delay in outstanding ITRs, the department said: “The department has sought additional information on approximately 1.2 million verified ITRs and has sent the necessary information to taxpayers through their registered electronic filing accounts. Please Taxpayers respond quickly to such communications.”
While the department has offered no explanation for such information, it believes it may be related to the claimed rent waiver, discrepancies in claimed tax credits, and other indicated income.
Meanwhile, about 1.4 million ITRs have been filed for the 2023-24 financial year as of September 4 but have yet to be verified by taxpayers, the department said. “Failure to verify returns will result in delays in processing as returns can only be accepted for processing once the taxpayer has completed verification,” it warned, while urging taxpayers to complete the verification process immediately.
It also highlighted that there have been several instances where ITRs have been processed and refunds have been identified because the bank accounts were not verified and the refunds had not yet been credited. It advises: “Taxpayers are required to verify their bank accounts through the e-filing portal.”
It claims to be continuously stepping up its efforts to provide seamless and speedy taxpayer services. As a result, the average ITR processing time (verified) for returns filed in 2023-24 has been reduced to 10 days, compared to 82 days in 2019-20 and 16 days in 2022-23.