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January 17, 2021

How many times and till what date ITR can be revised under Income Tax?

by CA Shivam Jaiswal in Income Tax

How many times and till what date ITR can be revised under Income Tax?

An income tax return (ITR) is basically a document that is filed as per the provisions of the Income Tax Act, reporting one’s income, profits and losses and other deductions as well as details about tax refund or tax liability. The original due date for submitting ITR for assessment year 2020-2021 relevant to financial year 1st April 2019 to 31st March 2020 was 31st July 2020. However, the same was extended till 31st December 2020 due to pandemic Covid19.

At the time of filing our income tax return (ITR), one takes the utmost care not to make mistakes. However, at times it may happen that taxpayers make a mistake while filing our ITR at the last minute. These could include mentioning the wrong bank account number, forgetting to declare interest income, or claiming the wrong deduction etc. However, the question arises is whether can a person file his ITR again which has been originally filed by that person with some mistakes or omission.

Is filing a revised return allowed under Income Tax Act?

  • A person may furnish a revised return of income under section 139(5).
  • If any person, having furnished a return under section 139(1) or section 139(4), discovers any omission or any wrong statement therein, he may furnish a revised return.

What is the Time Limit for filing revised return?

  • Revised return can be filed at any time before the end of the relevant assessment year or before the completion of the assessment, whichever is earlier.
  • The word assessment will refer to assessment made under section 143(3) and section 144.
  • Assessment made under section 143(1) will not be treated as assessment for this purpose as such return can be revised even after the intimation under section 143(1) has been served.
  • Also, the return can be revised before the date of passing the order under section 143(3) or section 144 and not till the date of service of such order.

A revised return will substitute an original return

  • Once a revised return is filed, the originally filed return must be taken to have been withdrawn and substituted by the revised return.
  • Thus, where a return was filed under section 139(1) declaring income and later it is revised declaring a loss, the loss shall be allowed to be carried forward as the revised return shall substitute the original return which was filed with in time.
  • Similarly, where a return is filed declaring a loss within the time allowed under section 139(1) and such loss is increased in the revised return, such higher loss will be eligible for being carried forward.
  • Interest under section 234B and 234C will be recalculated under every revised return.
  • If the taxpayer has revised return after the survey/search and it was has found that the mistake in the original return was not bona fide then levy of penalty is justified.

How many times can a taxpayer revise the return?

Theoretically a return can be revised any number of times before the expiry of one year from the end of the assessment year or before assessment by the department is completed; whichever event takes place earlier.

Can a belated return also be revised?

  • When an assessee does not file his return within the timelines prescribed in the income tax act but files it after the due date is referred to as a belated return. The due date for filing a belated return is on or before the end of the relevant assessment year. 
  • With effect from the financial year 2016-17, a belated return can be revised.
  • This was not the case earlier. Only a return that had been originally filed before the due date could be revised for years prior to FY 2016-17.
  • However, it is important to remember the deadline to file belated return and filing the revised return for Financial Year 2019-20 is same i.e. March 31, 2021.
  • Therefore, if you file your belated ITR for Financial Year 2019-20 on March 31, 2021, then taxpayers will not get the opportunity to file the revised return as the deadline for filing the same also expires on March 31, 2021.

Liable to interest on tax liability

  • If you don’t file your ITR, the belated return could lead to extra interest on monthly basis for the remaining tax payable by you.
  • Interest under section 234A is levied for delay in filing the return of income
  • Taxpayer will be liable to pay simple interest at 1% per month or part of a month for delay in filing the return of income from the period commencing on the date immediately following the due date of filing the return of income and ending on the date of furnishing the return of income, or in case where no return has been furnished, on the date of completion of the assessment under section 144.

Liable to pay Late Fees and Penalty

  • The income tax department notified the taxpayers for late filing of tax returns for A.Y. 2020-21, along with a penalty of Rs 5000 (on filing the return after the due date but on or before 31st December) and Rs 10,000 (on the filing of return after 31st December to 31st March).
  • The taxpayer has to file the late filing of tax returns for A.Y. 2020-21 before 31st March anyhow.
  • Penalty is applicable even if the taxpayer files the returns before 31st March while there is no option to file the returns after 31st March 2020.
  • However, if taxpayer’s total income does not exceed Rs 5 lakh, then the maximum penalty levied for delay will not exceed Rs 1000.

It is always considered a prudent action to file one’s income tax return on time. More than any other benefit, being on the right side of law helps. It is recommended to keep the income tax department informed about one’s income and taxability. This communication is only possible when one files their ITR.

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