Simplifying Tax Filing: Lowdown on New ‘Discard ITR’ Feature

Picture of by Neha Raheja
by Neha Raheja

Partner, Direct Tax

Background:
In a bid to make filing taxes easy, the Income Tax Department has rolled out a new feature called “Discard ITR.” This nifty tool lets taxpayers toss out or delete an unverified original, belated, or revised income tax return (ITR) filed for Assessment Year (AY) 2023–24 and beyond. It’s like having a virtual eraser for your tax paperwork, giving you more say in how you handle your tax filings. This feature is handy for ITRs that haven’t gotten the green light through verification yet. Verification is a big deal in the tax filing world because it confirms that you are who you say you are and that the information in your return is up-to-up.

Benefits of ‘Discard ITR’ Feature

1. Fixing Mistakes:

If you spot any mistakes or things you missed in your filed ITR before it’s verified, Just hit ‘Discard’ and file a fresh ITR with the right details.

2. Tweaking Tax Math:

If changes are required to be made in tax calculations, income, deductions etc. this feature might be useful.

3. Getting it Right:

The ‘Discard ITR’ feature is all about accuracy. It lets you set things straight before your ITR is considered final.

Let us understand more about ‘Discard ITR’ through some FAQs’

Q. 1: I filed my original ITR u/s 139(1) on July 30, 2023, but it has not yet been verified. Can I discard it?

A 1 :  Yes, user can avail the option of “Discard” for the ITRs being filed u/s 139(1) /139(4) / 139(5) if they do not want to verify it. User is provided a facility to file an ITR afresh after discarding the previous unverified ITR. However, if the “ITR filed u/s 139(1)” is Discarded and the subsequent return is filed after the due date u/s 139(1), it would attract implications of belated return like 234F etc., Thus, it is advised to check whether the due date for filing the return u/s 139(1) is available or not before discarding any previously filed return.

Q. 2 : I Discard my ITR by-mistake. Is it possible to reverse it?

A 2 : No, if ITR is Discarded once, it can’t be reversed. Please be vigilant while availing  Discarding option. If an ITR is Discarded, it means that, such ITR is not filed at all.

Q. 3: Where is the discard operation?

A 3: The user can find the Discard option in the below path: www.incometax.gov.in – Login; e-File; -Income Tax Return; e-Verify ITR; “Discard”

Q. 4: Is it mandatory to file a subsequent ITR if I “discarded” my previous unverified ITR?

A 4 : A user, who has uploaded the return data earlier, but has made use of the facility to discard such unverified return is expected to file subsequent an ITR later on, as it is expected that he is liable to file the return of income by way of his earlier action.

Q 5: I sent my ITR V to CPC, and it is in transit and has not yet reached CPC. But I don’t want to verify the ITR as I get to know that details were not reported correctly. Can I still avail of the “Discard” option?

A 5 : User shall not discard such returns, where the ITR-V has already been sent to CPC. There is an undertaking to this effect before discarding the return.

Q. 6: When can I avail this “Discard” option, and can I avail this “Discard” option multiple times or only once?

A 6: The user can avail of this option only if the ITR status is “unverified” or “pending for verification.”. There is no restriction on availing of this option multiple times. The precondition “ITR status” is “unverified” / “pending for verification.”.

Q. 7: My ITR filed for AY 2022–23 is pending verification. Can I avail myself of this “Discard” option?

A 7: The user can avail of this option only from AY 2023–24 onwards for the respective ITR. This option will be available only until the time limit specified for filing ITR u/s 139(1)/139(4) /139(5) (i.e., the 31st of December of the respective AY as of now).

Q. 8: I discarded my original ITR 1 filed on July 30, 2023, on August 21, 2023, and I want to file a subsequent ITR on August 22, 2023. Which section should I select?

A 8: If the user discards the original ITR filed under u/s 139(1) for which the due date of u/s 139(1) is over, they are required to select 139(4) while filing a subsequent return. As there is no prior valid return, the date of the original ITR / acknowledgement number is not applicable if the original ITR fields are not applicable. Further, if the user wants to file a revised return in the future, he needs to provide details of the “original filing date” and “acknowledgement number” of the valid ITR, i.e., the ITR filed on August 22, 2023, for filing the revised ITR.

Conclusion

The ‘Discard ITR’ feature is a welcome addition to the income tax filing process, empowering taxpayers with greater control over their tax filings. By giving you the option to toss out unverified ITRs, the Income Tax Department is all about making sure your tax journey is smooth and on point. So, get familiar with this feature and use it when needed to keep your tax filings in tip-top shape.

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