Personal Finance

Correcting mistakes in income-tax returns

Parvatha Vardhini C | Updated on October 15, 2019 Published on October 15, 2019

You can set right any error by revising your returns or requesting for a rectification

Done and dusted with filing your I-T returns within the extended deadline of August 31? While the tax officials are busy processing your returns, a re-check on the numbers disclosed from your side may well be worth the effort.

For, if you find any error, you can file revised returns. Once your returns are processed, you will lose this opportunity.

The tax authorities would have then gone ahead with an assessment and may raise a demand for more taxes, if necessary.

Here’s why you should be on the vigil even after you file your returns.

Revised returns

To err is human. If you had raced against time to file your returns at the eleventh hour, chances are that you will have forgotten something or made some mistakes.

For instance, you may have forgotten to add interest income from some of the fixed deposits you hold or claim deductions for certain donations you had made.

Tax laws provide for a way to set these mistakes right by allowing you to revise your returns.

So, how does one go about it? There is no specific returns form or a separate procedure to file revised returns.

You just have to refile your returns with the corrected data through the department’s website (www.incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in) by mentioning in the first page that the returns are a revised one.

The e-filing acknowledgement number and the date of filing of the original return also need to be mentioned alongside. If you took the help of a chartered accountant or an online e-filing intermediary for filing the original return, you can use their services for this as well.

While this opportunity to revise provides a much-needed second chance, there are timelines to keep in mind. One, you can revise your returns only until the end of the assessment year. So, if you filed your returns for FY 2018-19 in July 2019, you can revise them only until March 31, 2020 (2019-20 is the assessment year for FY 2018-19).

Two, even if you filed the returns late, say, in September 2019, you are allowed to revise it before the end of the assessment year, that is, March 31, 2020. With the deadline for filing belated as well as revised returns remaining the same (that is, the end of the assessment year), a logical conclusion is that if you file your belated returns itself late, you may not have enough time to revise it.

Three, and probably the most important point, is that the returns are open for revision only until the assessment is completed. As and when the return is processed, you will receive an intimation from the Tax Department, under Section 143(1), by email. The intimation usually arrives much earlier than the end of the assessment year.

So, technically, you can revise your return only until this intimation arrives in your inbox.

Within this time-frame though, there is no ceiling on the number of times a return can be revised. The latest one will be considered. But the flip side of doing multiple revisions is that you may catch the attention of officials, who may take it up for detailed scrutiny, especially when there are big changes.

Rectification

What happens if problems emerge after the returns are processed? One way through which this could come to light is the Section 143(1) intimation. Here, the Tax Department will lay out its calculation of your income and the taxes due.

If there is a mismatch between your calculations and the department’s, and you agree with the department’s assessment, you need to pay any additional tax dues within 30 days of receipt of the intimation. If you do not agree, you can file for rectification of the returns in the e-filing website.

Once you login with your PAN, four types of rectification requests are listed under the ‘e-File’ tab. The first one is for ‘correction of tax credit mismatch’.

In this case, you have the option to correct data regarding TDS (tax deducted at source) on salary, TDS on income other than salary, TCS (tax collected at source), and other tax payments such as advance tax and self-assessment tax. There is no need to refile the returns here.

The second type of rectification request is for ‘return data correction’. This is useful, for instance, when details of deduction under Chapter VI A or details of income under various heads have been wrongly considered.

Necessary changes under this request should be done by downloading the Excel/Java utility and generating XML.

This is similar to the process followed when filing returns.

The two other rectification requests are for ‘reprocessing of return without any changes’ and ‘providing additional information for 234C’.

While rectifying returns, you must remember a few things.

While returns can be revised as many times as you please, only one rectification per assessment year can be filed, unless you withdraw the earlier request or after the tax authorities process it.

Withdrawal can be done in the e-filing website even on the same day of filing.

Once the Tax Department processes the rectification, it will amend the 143(1) intimation or any other order passed by it, if necessary.

To file for rectification, the time limit is four years from the end of the financial year in which the order sought to be amended was passed.

The tax authorities have to respond within six months from the end of the month in which the application is received.

Follow us on Telegram, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Linkedin. You can also download our Android App or IOS App.

Published on October 15, 2019
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor