Let us understand what a defective or incomplete return u/s 139(9) is. A return of income is regarded as defective in the following cases-
RETURN FORM HAS NOT BEEN DULY FILLED– All items in the income –tax return from (i.e. ITR-1 to ITR-7) must be filled in the manner indicated in the return form. If any item is not applicable to the taxpayer, he/she should write ‘‘NIL’’ to denote nil figures. No column or row should be left blank; otherwise return may be liable to be held defective or even invalid.
RETURN WITHOUT SELF –ASSESMENT TAX –Section 139 (9) has been amended with effect from June 1, 2013 to provide that the return of income shall be regarded as defective unless the tax together with interest, if any, payable by the taxpayer has been paid on or before the date of furnishing of the return. A lot of the taxpayers file their tax returns without updating the information with respect to the self-assessment tax paid. The taxpayer must ensure to furnish the details of the self-assessment in his/her tax return before submitting the same.
ANNEXURES, STATEMENTS ACCOUNTS, ETC.-Under section 139(9), a few statements, reports, accounts, etc. such as the balance sheet, profit and loss account, and depreciation schedule are liable to be submitted by those who are liable to maintain their books of accounts, or else the return will become defective.
If the assessing officer considers that the return submitted by the taxpayer is defective or incomplete, he may give the taxpayer an opportunity to rectify the defect within a period of 15 days from the date of such intimation. The assessing officer on an application by the taxpayer may extend this time limit.
If the taxpayer does not rectify the defect within the period of 15 days (or such further extended period), then the Assessing Officer shall treat the return as void-ab-initio and other provisions of the Act will apply as if the taxpayer had failed to furnish the return. Where the taxpayer rectified the defect after the expiry of the period of the 15 days (or such further extended period) but before assessment is made, the Assessing Officer may accept the delay and treat the return as a valid return.
Thinking of how to rectify the error shaped in the return.
Don’t worry, Income Tax Act gives you the opportunity to correct the mistakes by filing a revised income tax return u/s 139(5). But the most important criterion one must keep in mind is that, the original return must be filed within the due date specified u/s 139(1). A belated tax return cannot be revised.
Following are the other conditions one has to satisfy in order to file a revised return u/s 139(5):-
A revised return can only be filed if the taxpayer discovers any omission or wrong statement in the return originally filed.A revised return can be filed anytime before the expiry of one year from the end of the relevant assessment year, or before the completion of the assessment, whichever is earlier.
Following are a few other key points with respect to filing of revised income tax return u/s 139(5):-
A second revised return can be filed for correcting any omission or wrong statement made in the first revised return.If the taxpayer wishes to file a revised return even after he or she has received an intimation u/s 143(1), he/she can do so and such a revised income tax return shall be considered as valid by the concerned assessing officer.At the time of filing the first or second revised return, it is imperative that the taxpayer keeps handy the acknowledgement number and the date of filing of the original return.