Income tax is a direct tax levied by the government directly on the income generated by businesses or individuals who fall under the government’s jurisdiction. The tax so collected is accumulated in the Government’s treasury, which then is utilized for different schemes aimed towards the good of the public, including developmental and infrastructure projects, projects for the upliftment of poor and vulnerable sections of the society and overall social and economic development.
The aforementioned taxes need to be paid in accordance with the assessment of income and tax liability thereof as ascertained by the taxpayers. These particulars are to be submitted to the concerned authority vide Income Tax Return (hereinafter referred to as “ITR”). Paying income tax and filing ITR on time are mandatory duties imposed on every citizen. These returns may be filed online or offline, however, e- filing provides various benefits like better accuracy, faster processing or returns and refunds, convenience, confidentiality, easy access to past records, ease of use, etc. The e-filing process is not complete unless the income tax return is verified through a process called e-verification (or EVC). The Income Tax Department doesn’t start processing a person’s return unless the return has been verified.
A successful e-filing process takes place as under:-
E-filing or return -> verification of tax return or EVC -> Income Tax Department processes the return.
DEFINITION OF ELECTRONIC VERIFICATION CODE (EVC)
Electronic Verification Code is a 10 digits alphanumeric code to verify the income tax returns filed by a taxpayer. EVC has been defined under Sub-rule (3) of Rule 12 of the Income Tax Rules, 1962. The explanation states that:
“Electronic Verification Code means a code generated and provided to a person for the purpose of electronic verification of the person furnishing Income Tax Return as per the standards prescribed by the Principal Director General of Income- Tax or the Director-General of Income Tax.”
FEATURES AND USAGES OF EVC
- It is a 10 digit alphanumeric number allotted to a person to help him verify his return filed with the Income Tax Department.
- It is useful in verifying ITR1, ITR2 ITR 2A, ITR3, ITR4, and ITR 4S.
- Each individual is given a unique EVC which can be used and accessed only with the said person’s PAN number.
- A person needs to be allotted with a fresh EVC every time he files an ITR as one EVC can be used to validate one ITR only.
- One EVC is valid only for 72 hours. After that, a new EVC needs to be generated.
- The e-verification needs to be completed within 120 days of filing the return. If it is not done so, the Return filed is not considered. Income Tax Return is deemed to be filed only if the taxpayer, after filing it, verifies it.
PROCEDURE OF GENERATING EVC
The EVC can be generated in the following ways:-
1. Generating EVC through e-filing website
This method can be used only if the salary of the taxpayer is up to Rs. 5 Lacs and no tax refunds are to be claimed. This can be done by following the steps mentioned below:-
Logging in to the account with the Income Tax Department using PAN number as user id and a password.
Clicking on the tab with “e-filing” mentioned on it and then select the “Generate EVC” option.
When this process is complete the EVC would be received on the registered Mobile Number and e-mail address.
2. Generating EVC through linking Aadhaar Card with PAN
Logging in to Aadhaar’s website.
Clicking on the tab with “profile settings” mentioned on it. Select the option of linking Aadhaar with Pan in the drop-down menu.
Filling in all the required details and then clicking on the “link now” option.
For generating EVC press on the option stating “I would like to generate Aadhaar OTP to e-verify my return”.
The OTP would be sent on the registered mobile number.
3. Generating EVC through Bank ATM
For this process, EVC can be generated using the ATM card registered with the Income Tax Department only.
This can be done by selecting the “generate EVC for ITR filing” option which appears on the ATM’s screen.
The EVC would be sent on the registered mobile number.
4. Generating EVC through Net Banking Facility
This can be done if the e-filing process is done through the bank registered with the Income Tax Department only.
For this, the taxpayer needs to login to his registered net banking account and redirect it to the income tax e-filing website where the EVC can be generated.
The EVC would then be sent to the registered mobile number.
VALIDATION OF EVC
An EVC would e valid only for 72 hours. The code used to verify the Income Tax Return will be validated only against the EVC stored with the Income Tax Department against a particular PAN number. An invalid or already used EVC won’t be valid and would be rejected.
In the end, it is concluded that the e-filing of tax is an extra-ordinary step in the direction of the Government’s vision of going green. It had been a long time since the Government had mandated digital signature for filing of Income Tax Return. Hence the last pieces of paper requirement left in the process of Income Tax filing were that of verification, hence the government came up with the concept of EVC. Now, the only requirement is filing of return online and then verifying it online. This process has made IT return more convenient, time saving and easy.
 Notification no. 2/ 2015; Available at https://incometaxindia.gov.in/news/evc_notification-13-07-2015.pdf; Visited on 18/12/2018.
 Available at https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/wealth/tax/5-ways-to-verify-your-income-tax-return-now-e-verify-without-aadhaar-net-banking/articleshow/52985020.cms; Visited on 18/12/2018.
 Supra note 1.