Filing a revised income tax return, how and why
As a law abiding citizen, it is your duty to pay taxes to the government. But your responsibility doesn’t stop here. In addition to paying taxes, you have to provide details regarding the income earned during the year and taxes paid on the same in the form of income tax return. The government usually provides up to 4 months time from the end of financial year to complete the process of filing and submitting the return. You might feel proud that you submitted the return before the deadline, but in a hurry to submit the same you might have committed some mistakes or simply missed out on information about your income or failed to claim a deduction. The common incomes that one miss out in the return include interest on fixed deposit, interest on saving account, income on deemed to be let out property or deductions for donation made. What if you come across these loopholes later on? Is there any way around it? Fortunately, yes.
When can you file a revised return
You can provide information about the same by filing a revised return under section 139(5). However, there is a time line attached to filing a revised return. You can file the same anytime before the expiry of 1 year from the end of the relevant assessment year or before the completion of assessment, whichever is earlier. So for example if you have filed the return for the financial 2013-14 on 15th July 2014 when the due date is 31st July 2014, and later discover some mistake, you can file a revised return anytime up to 31st March 2016 or before the completion of assessment whichever is earlier. But any return filed beyond the due date i.e. a belated return cannot be revised.
The good part is that there is no restriction on the number of times of filing the revised return. In the above example, you can file the same as many times as you want before 31st March 2015 or before the completion of assessment. However, you must note that revision is allowed only if the mistake was unintentional and not due to concealment or false statements. The mistake should be a bonafide one. In case where the omission in original return is found intentional, you are penalized. Revised return can also be filed when you receive notices under section 142(1). However, if you submit the return after the notice period, it is assumed as return submitted under section 139(4) and cannot termed as revised return. The revised return, however, does not involve any charges irrespective of the number of times you file it.
How to file a revised return
After knowing about the revised return, the big question is: how to file the same? Actually, filing a revised return is as easy as filing an original return.
- You need to get hold of the same ITR form that you originally made use of. Fill all the information regarding your income as you did in the original return besides providing the missing information and rectifying the mistake.
- Since it’s a revised return, you also need to provide 15 digit acknowledgment number of the original.
- Under the option of the type of return, you have to choose the option of revised return instead of the original return.
Upon receiving this revised return, the income tax department looks out for the original return using the 15 digit acknowledgement number generated on submitting the original return. After the revised return, the original return filed under section 139(1) is deemed to be withdrawn and substituted by the revised return.