The Income-Tax Department, time and again, makes available certain tools and features in order to provide convenience to taxpayers and streamline the process of I-T return filing.
Recently, the department unveiled a new feature on its portal called ‘Discard return’. Through this option, taxpayers can delete their unverified submitted income tax return and file a fresh return consequently. Here, we take a look at the feature, how to avail it and when and who should use the same.
What is it about?
Typically, the income tax return (ITR) filing process involved verifying the return after submission. If one realised that any error or omission had crept in, one had to verify the return and then subsequently file a ‘Revised ITR’. This is where the ‘discard return’ feature comes in handy. Through this, if one has filed ITR — be it original, belated (return filed upon passing of deadline) or revised but not verified — and feels like changing certain details in the return, one can delete the original unverified return — before sending it to the department. A fresh return can be filed thereafter.
Previously, after submitting ITR, even if one spotted any errors, he/she had to verify the wrong return which might lead to scrutiny from the IT department. The ‘discard return’ feature helps one to avoid going through the revised ITR process of correcting mistakes in the originally filed ITR. As per the I-T department, users can avail this option only from AY 2023-24.
The process of availing ‘discard return’ is pretty much straightforward. One needs to login to the income tax portal, go to the section called ‘e-file’ within which one needs to select ‘e-verify return’. Here, you find two options — e-verify and discard beside your ITR, which has been filed but not been verified yet. Here, you can choose the option ‘discard’ to delete the filed return and file a fresh return. One can repeat the same process, i.e. discard return, as many times as one wishes, provided the ITR status remains ‘unverified’ or ‘pending for verification’.
Before using the new feature one must be aware of certain conditions and caveats. Firstly, this option is effective from AY2023-24 — i.e. the returns filed on or after April 1, 2023, which remain unverified.
Secondly. the option is available only for ITRs that are unverified’ or pending for verification. If it has already been verified and one needs to rectify the mistakes, one needs to file a revised return. Do note that once the return is discarded, it can’t be retrieved and it will be deemed as not filed only.
Further, discarding the ITR doesn’t mean that you can file the new ITR after the deadline without any consequences. For instance, let’s assume you have filed ITR on July 21, 2023, and have discarded it before verifying the same. Consequently, if you have filed the fresh ITR after the deadline (July 31, 2023), say, on August 5, 2023, you can face penalty charges up to ₹5,000 for the same.
Also, post submitting the ITR, one must go through the regular process and verify the return within 30 days of submission. One can complete the verification through offline or online mode. While going through online process, you can verify either through your Aadhaar number by generating six-digit OTP to your Aadhaar-linked mobile number, generate ten-digit electronic verification code through your prevalidated bank account/demat account or via a digital signature certificate. However, if you wish to do it offline, you need to send a physical copy of your ITR verification (Form ITR-V) to the Centralised Processing Centre.