Income Tax E-Filing: How to Right a Wrong Return

 Richa Sharma
  Sep 28, 2018

Generally speaking, at times diligent tax payers might find themselves in a fix after discovering erroneous submissions while filing their income tax returns. There are times when the income tax department may not accept filings or end up asking for more tax!

The income tax department is finally giving the tax payer chance to correct his or her returns, in case they were filed erroneously. It must be kept in mind that income tax returns are not validated until the income tax department has thoroughly verified the numbers. Therefore, it is extremely important to be vigilant whiling filing income tax returns.

Revision of the Returns

Of late tax laws have made it possible for tax payers to thoroughly revise their respective returns. For instance, there are times when a tax payer may have forgotten to claim deductions or add the interest income. In such cases, the tax payer may revise the returns beforehand.

It is important to note that from the financial year 2017-18, the tax payers are being given the chance to revise their respective returns only until the end of that assessment year. Additionally, it is important to know that there is no separate revision form or procedure to revise the filings. One need only visit the website of the income tax department and correct the filings.

The following steps need to be followed in order to revise the returns:

  1. First, it is important to clearly mention on the first page that the said return is a revised one.
  2. Additionally, it is important to mention the e-filing acknowledgement number of the original return and the date of the filing of the return.
  3. Thankfully, there is no limit to how many times revision can be done. The department will consider the latest revision for processing.
  4. However, it is very important to keep in mind that the returns are open for revision only until the returns have been processed by the income tax department.
  5. Also, it is important to remember that chances of one’s corrected returns being chosen for closer examination may be slightly higher if the said revisions have led to big overhauls in the overall tax filing.
  6. To the relief of the tax payers, those miss the deadline for filing the corrected returns may also revise the returns, in case they should find errors in the near future.

The Department’s Approval

As mentioned before, it is not until the income tax department has processed the returns that tax payers may be relieved at last. It is important to keep in mind that the department must first agree with the assessment as filed by the tax payer.

It is important to note that according to provisions of Section 139, a tax payer may receive a notification from the income tax department drawing attention to a defective return. Although, electronic filing has decreased the chances of such as computational errors as the total income tax amount, it is important to note that a tax payer has a period of fifteen days from the date of rectification to correct the wrong return and file again accordingly.

However, there are errors that may be initiated to the tax payer by the income tax department. For instance, missing declaring income, or claim deductions for which the tax payer is not eligible, or a simple tax credit mismatch. Those are some of the common errors that are forwarded to the tax payer by the department.

In such cases, it is important to be aware that the department may spotlight the errors and raise a demand. If the tax payer agrees with it, he or she will have to shell out additional dues within a period of thirty days from the date of the intimation. Otherwise, if a tax payer finds mistakes on the department’s part, he or she may request or ‘rectification’ as available on the website of the IT department.

As far as rectification is concerned, a request may be filed within four years from the cessation of a financial year. The financial year in question is necessarily the one in which the order to rectify wrong returns has been formally received.

Also, if the concerned taxpayer has filed his or her return through an e-return intermediary website, or used the services of a chartered accountant, he or she may be guided by them while filing the corrected returns.

Generally speaking, under Section 143, a tax payer receives intimation from the income tax department. It is important to act quickly in case one needs to correct the returns as there is a window of only a few months for correcting the filings. Also, as mentioned before, the income tax department may take a closer look in cases where the changes in the filings are considerable and not minor errors.

Income Tax E-Filing: How to Right a Wrong Return

Richa Sharma

Richa Sharma is a freelance writer with a Master’s Degree in Business Administration, who blogs about finance, investment, income tax act. law and business management during his free time.

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