The Income-tax Department in India has witnessed a significant and unprecedented increase in the number of Income-tax Returns (ITRs) filed for the assessment year (AY) 2023–24, setting a new record in the nation’s tax history. According to an official statement from the Press Information Bureau, the total number of ITRs filed as of July 31, 2023, surpassed a staggering 6.77 crore, representing an impressive 16.1% surge compared to the number of ITRs filed by the same date for the previous AY 2022–23, which amounted to 5.83 crore. This remarkable growth highlights the country’s evolving tax landscape and the increasing compliance among taxpayers.
Expanding Taxpayer Base:
One of the most noteworthy aspects of this surge in ITR filings is the influx of 53.67 lakh ITRs from first-time individual taxpayers by July 31, 2023. This surge indicates a notable expansion in the taxpayer base, which reflects positively on the efforts of the government in promoting tax awareness, simplifying tax compliance, and encouraging more individuals to contribute to the nation’s development through taxation.
Peak Day for ITR Filings:
The peak for ITR filings occurred on July 31, 2023, which served as the deadline for salaried taxpayers and individuals not subjected to tax audits. On this particular day, the Income-tax Department received a staggering 64.33 lakh ITRs. The massive influx of returns on the deadline day underscores the significance of efficient tax administration and the need for taxpayers to adhere to the timelines to ensure the smooth processing of their returns.
Understanding Different ITR Statuses:
After submitting their tax returns, taxpayers can check the status of their Income Tax Returns to ensure proper processing by the Income Tax Department. Different ITR statuses indicate various stages of the processing:
- Submitted and pending for e-Verification / Verification: This status is applicable when a taxpayer has successfully filed their ITR but has not yet completed the e-Verification process, or when the Centralized Processing Center (CPC) has not received the legally signed ITR-V. In such cases, taxpayers must ensure prompt verification to ensure seamless processing.
- Successfully e-Verified: This status confirms that the return has been filed and successfully e-Verified or Verified, signifying the completion of the initial steps in the processing pipeline. However, the return is yet to undergo comprehensive processing by the Income Tax Department.
- Processed: This status indicates that the return has successfully completed the processing stage and has been duly processed by the Income Tax Department. At this stage, the taxpayer’s tax liability is determined, and any applicable refunds are processed for issuance.
- Defective: In some instances, the Income Tax Department may identify defects or discrepancies in the filed return. If such discrepancies are noticed, the taxpayer will receive a notice under section 139(9), requesting them to rectify the issues within a specified timeframe. It is imperative for taxpayers to respond promptly to such notices to avoid potential complications.
- Case transferred to Assessing Officer: Occasionally, the CPC may transfer the ITR to the taxpayer’s jurisdictional Assessing Officer (AO) for further scrutiny or verification. In such cases, the AO will get in touch with the taxpayer to gather additional details or documents for a comprehensive assessment.
Convenient Online Status Check:
To facilitate easy access to ITR status information, the Income Tax Department provides taxpayers with an online platform. By visiting the Income Tax India website and logging in using their PAN/Aadhaar number as the user ID and the designated password, taxpayers can navigate to the ‘e-file’ section and select ‘Income tax returns’ to view their filed returns. By clicking on ‘View Details,’ taxpayers can access their ITR status, which also displays information about the date of tax refunds issued, the refund amount, and the clearance date.
FAQs about ITR (Income Tax Return) Status
1. What is ITR Status?
ITR Status refers to the current state or position of your filed Income Tax Return with the tax authorities. It indicates whether your return has been successfully processed, is under scrutiny, or if any further action is required.
2. How can I check my ITR Status?
You can check your ITR Status by logging into the official website of the Income Tax Department of your country. Most tax authorities provide an online portal where taxpayers can view their status by entering their PAN (Permanent Account Number) and other required details.
3. What are the different ITR Statuses?
Common ITR Statuses include “Return Filed,” “Return Processed,” “Under Scrutiny,” “Defective Return,” “ITR-V Receipt Status,” and “Refund Issued,” among others. Each status represents a specific stage in the processing of your tax return.
4. What does “Return Filed” mean?
“Return Filed” indicates that you have successfully submitted your Income Tax Return to the tax department. However, it doesn’t imply that the return has been processed or accepted yet.
5. What is the significance of “Return Processed”?
“Return Processed” means that your ITR has been received and reviewed by the tax department, and the processing is complete. It shows the total tax liability, refunds (if any), or any dues to be paid. You can also find information on the status of your refund, if applicable.
6. What does “Under Scrutiny” imply?
If your ITR status shows “Under Scrutiny,” it means that your tax return has been selected for a detailed examination by the tax authorities. They will verify the accuracy and authenticity of the information provided in your return.
7. What is a “Defective Return”?
A “Defective Return” status indicates that there are errors or discrepancies in your filed tax return. You will receive a notice from the tax department specifying the issues that need to be rectified. You must address the defects within the stipulated time to avoid penalties.
8. What is “ITR-V Receipt Status”?
“ITR-V Receipt Status” indicates that the acknowledgment (ITR-V) of your e-filed return has been received by the tax department. This status appears when you have sent the ITR-V form after e-filing the return.
9. How can I request a refund if the status shows “Refund Issued”?
If your ITR status displays “Refund Issued,” it means that your tax return has been processed, and a refund has been determined. The tax department will initiate the refund process, and the amount will be credited to your bank account, provided the bank details are correctly mentioned in your return.
10. What should I do if my ITR Status is not updating or showing errors?
If you encounter any issues with your ITR Status or notice any discrepancies, it is advisable to get in touch with the customer support helpline of your country’s Income Tax Department. They will assist you in resolving the problem and provide guidance on the necessary steps to be taken.
The substantial increase in the number of Income-tax Returns filed in AY 2023–24 signifies a remarkable growth in the taxpayer base in India. The government’s efforts to promote tax compliance and simplify the filing process have contributed to this positive trend. By keeping track of their ITR status and promptly addressing any issues that may arise, taxpayers can ensure the smooth processing of their returns and contribute effectively to the nation’s progress and development.