Earlier, the Income Tax Return (ITR) Verification Form or ITR-V was treated as a proof of filing of return of income as it used to contain data of income, deductions, tax payable, taxes paid etc of an assessee.
However, the figures of income, deductions and taxes have been removed from the ITR Verification Form (ITR-V).
This is because ITR-V is not a valid proof of filing the return of income, as the process of e-filing an ITR gets completed only after the ITR Verification Form is verified.
Verification of an ITR may be done either offline by sending the signed ITR-V to CPC Bengaluru through an ordinary/speed post or online through Aadhaar One Time Password (OTP) / Electronic Verification Code (EVC) /Net Banking.
Although an unverified ITR-V is not considered valid, it was accepted as a valid proof of filing of return of income in the absence of a verified form. To use it for some specific purposes, some people used to even file return just to generate the ITR-V without any intention to verify the return.
To prevent such misuse, ITR Acknowledgement was introduced in the Assessment Year 2015-16. However, the format of ITR-V remained unchanged and continued to be used as ITR proof along with the ITR Acknowledgement.
To curtail its use as a proof of filing of return of income, the ITR-V last year contained the statement – “This is not a proof for having filed the Return” at the end of the ITR Verification Form with its format unchanged.
To eliminate any chance of its use as a proof of filing of return of income, all the figures – viz. Income, deductions, tax payable, taxes paid, tax refund / payable, exempt income etc – have been removed from ITR-V.
The ITR-V of AY 2020-21 contains only the assessee’s Name, PAN, ITR Form Number (e.g. ITR-1, ITR-2, ITR-3, ITR-4 etc), the section under which the ITR has been filed and the e-filing Acknowledgement Number, which the taxpayer has to verify either offline or online.
So, without the mention of the figures of income, taxes etc, it can no longer be used as a proof of filing of return of income.