Monday, August 1, 2011

How to make sure your e-return is not rejected

In the previous issue of ET Wealth, we laid out a systematic approach to filing tax returns. However, your return can be rejected if the guidelines laid down by the Income Tax Department are not followed while filing returns, be it physically or online. If you are e-filing and not using the digital signature, you will have to print out the acknowledgement form, ITR V. Here are the things you should keep in mind while using this option.

Printing ITR V

Printing the ITR V form correctly is critical. Avoid using the dot matrix printer if you want your return to be processed faster. This is because the bar code on the ITR V should be clearly visible for quicker processing, and this can be done only by using the ink jet or laser printers. Take the printout in black ink only. If you are sending two returns, don't print them back to back. Use a fresh A4 size sheet to print each time. Perforated paper or of any other size is not acceptable.


The signature on the form must be clear and legible. For this, use a ball-point pen in blue ink only. "The document that is mailed to the Central Processing Centre (CPC) in Bangalore should be signed in blue ink," says Parizad Sirwalla, executive director, tax, KPMG.

Also, if you are taking photocopies, make sure you send out the original one signed in blue ink. A photocopy of the signature is not accepted. "As per the guidelines issued by the Income Tax Department, the ITR V should carry the signature in ink and should not be a photocopy of the signature," says Sonu Iyer from Ernst & Young.


"The filing of non-digitally signed returns is completed only when the ITR V reaches the CPC in Bangalore," says Sirwalla. So, make sure that your ITR V reaches the destination within 120 days of e-filing. In case it does not reach CPC Bangalore within the stipulated period, you will have to go through the agony of filing your tax return again. Earlier, you could not send more than one ITR V per envelope, but now, you can include more than one such form. Do not attach other documents, such as photocopies of Form 16 or TDS certificates along with the ITR V. Even annexure documents don't need to be attached. Dispatch it in an envelope that can hold an A4 size paper without folding it.

Other filing errors

Taxpayers often make mistakes that lead to deduction or incorrect calculation of taxes. One of these is not declaring the correct break-up of deductions under Section VIA, which includes tax-saving investments in life and health insurance policies, mutual funds, bank fixed deposits, etc. Iyer points out, "It is essential to have the tax filing details like deductee's PAN details, PAN & TAN of the deductor, total amount paid, total taxes deducted and deposited in Form 16/ Form 26AS."

In case of a change in the residential address, make the necessary alterations in the PAN database since the IT Department refers to it for correspondence. Do not mention bank accounts that are closed or even dormant because refunds are unlikely to reach you in such a case. "The circles in the Sahaj and Sugam forms must be shaded, not ticked," says Ameet Patel, partner at Sudit K Parekh & Co.

No response from CPC

The CPC dispatches an acknowledgement on receiving the ITR V. Ideally, it should reach you within three days. If you don't receive it, consider sending it again. You can send it through regular postal service or speed post. Do not use the courier or deliver it personally. You can call 1800-425-2229 and 080-22546500 from 9 am to 8 pm on working days to check its status. It can also be done online at

E-filing checklist

Avoid copy-pasting information while e-filing.

Take printouts using ink jet or laser printer on A4 size paper in black ink.

Sign on the ITR V acknowledgement form in blue ink only.

Avoid the use of staplers in ITR V.

You can send more than one ITR V form in the same envelope.

Do not attach any other document with the ITR V.

ITR V should only be sent via speed post or ordinary post to Bangalore CPC within 120 days of e-filing.

Do not courier or deliver the ITR V by hand. It will not be accepted.