Income Tax Department via notification issued on 27.11.2023 has given an option for tax filers to discard their earlier filed return. The return to be discarded can be an original, belated or revised return filed under Sections 139(1), 139(4) or 139(5) respectively. Once the return has been discarded it can not be reversed and it will be considered as the assessee has never filed his/her return.
It is important to note that only ‘unverified’ returns or returns ‘pending verification’ can be discarded and this option is available only from AY 2023-24 (FY 2022-23).
1. I had filed original ITR u/s 139(1) before the due date but it is not yet verified. Can I discard it?
Yes. Any return filed u/s 139(1), 139(4) or 139(5) but not yet verified can be discarded.
2. Original ITR filed u/s 139(1) before the due date has been discarded but a fresh return has been filed after the due date. Will it attract a penalty u/s 234F for late filing?
Yes. It would attract a penalty for belated return u/s 234F.
3. How many times can I discard a return during a financial year?
You can discard your return any number of times provided the status of the return is ‘unverified’ returns or returns ‘pending verification’.
4. What things should be kept in mind before discarding the return?
First, check whether the due date for filing the return u/s 139(1) is available or not and if the due date is over but you still have time to e-verify the original return (30 days has not lapsed from the date of filing) then it is advisable to verify the original return and file a revised return as It will help you save penalty levied u/s 234F.
For example, if you have filed your return on 27th July and on 20th August you are thinking of discarding the return. Here if you discard the original return and file a fresh return, you will have to pay a penalty u/s 234F. So it is advisable to e-verify the original return and then file a revised return.
5. Where can I find the “Discard" option on Income-tax Department's website?
Users can find the Discard option by following the below path:
Go to www.incometax.gov.in → Login → e-File → Income Tax Return → e-Verify ITR → “Discard”
6. Is it mandatory to file subsequent ITR if I “Discarded” my previous unverified ITR?
If you originally filed your return and have discarded it then it will be presumed that you were liable to file the return. Hence if you have filed your original return and have discarded it, it is advisable to file a fresh return otherwise you might get a non-filing notice.
7. I sent my ITR V to CPC and it is in transit and has not yet reached CPC. Can I still avail the “Discard” option?
If you have posted the signed acknowledgement to CPC then it is considered as verification of return. So it is advisable to not discard the return if you have posted the signed acknowledgement to CPC.
8. Can I discard my past year's unverified return for AY 2021-22, and 2022-23?
No. The option to discard returns is available from FY 2022-23 (AY 2023-24). So you can not discard any return filed for the year prior to FY 2022-23.
9. Suppose I have discarded my original return and filed a fresh return. Later if I want to file a revised return, which details do I need to submit?
Return once discarded is treated as return not filed. So the original return filed will not be considered. While filing a revised return, submit details of a fresh return filed after discarding the original return.
For example, say you filed a return on July 2 and discarded the same on July 22. Later you filed a fresh return on July 28. Now if you are filing a revised return, you will have to provide details of the “Original filing date” and “Acknowledgement number” of the valid ITR i.e., ITR filed on July 28 for filing the revised ITR.