All you need to know about Revised ITR

Satya Sontanam | Updated on January 25, 2021

Have you filed your income tax return (ITR) for the financial year 2020 but discovered you forgot something or made a wrong statement in it? Do not fret. The taxman understands that mistakes may happen in the scramble to file returns and provides an option to correct them.

What is it?

Section 139(5) of the Income-Tax Act, 1961 allows taxpayers to rectify their mistakes in their original tax returns by filing a revised return. Deductions or exemptions wrongly claimed and incorrect disclosure of income can be fixed by filing this return.

The revised return is also filed when you receive an intimation or notice from the department for a higher tax demand, which you agree to. Once you revise your income tax return, the original ITR stands withdrawn.

Revision of IT returns is different from rectification. Unlike revisions, rectification should be made only after you receive an intimation from the Central Processing Centre (CPC) of the I-T Department. This order generally comes when the department notices any discrepancy or in response to a rectification request filed by the taxpayer. Cases requiring rectification include arithmetic mistakes, incorrect gender, advance tax disparity and mismatch in tax credit. Under rectification, you cannot claim new exemptions or deductions or show new income. These changes can be made only using the revision of return.

Why is it important?

This revised return should be filed before the end of the relevant assessment year or before the completion of the assessment, whichever is earlier.

In the case of AY 20-21, the revised return can be filed anytime on or before March 31, 2021, which is the end of that assessment year. But if the I-T Department finishes the assessment (scrutiny assessment or best judgement assessment) before that, that would be the last day to revise your return.

You can also revise the ITRs that are filed belatedly. That is, you can revise the return of FY19-20 even if it is filed after January 10, 2021 (due date to file the return) or whatever is the applicable extended due date. Note that the due date to file the belated return, too, is the same as revised returns’ — the end of the relevant assessment year or before the completion of the assessment, whichever is earlier.

There’s no limit on the number of times you can revise your tax return if it is done within the deadline. But use the option sparingly as multiple revisions could lead to scrutiny by the I-T Department, which may lead to tax notices to substantiate your income and delay in processing your returns.

To revise your return, all you need is the acknowledgement number and the date of filing of the original return. One can choose ‘revised return under section 139(5) on the e-filing portal. Make sure to verify your return, without which your revised return will not be accepted by the Department.

Why should I care?

If the I-T Department unearths a mistake in your IT return, it may be treated as concealment of income and you may be slapped with a penalty, in addition to interest for delaying the tax payment.

Thus, it is important to revise your return as soon as you come across any mistakes in the original return. If the revision leads to additional tax payable, pay the self-assessment tax.

In case of a refund, you will receive an intimation under Section 143 (1) in due course of time.

The bottomline

To err is human, but when it comes to income tax, it is wise to rectify your errors early.

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Published on January 25, 2021

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