DYK: You can revise your income tax return
The last date for filing the income tax returns (ITRs) of assessment year (AY) 2016-17 was extended to 5 August from 31 July this year. It has been almost a month since then. For most law-abiding tax payers, their tax filing process would have come to an end on the day they verified their returns.
However, there can be instances when a tax payer discovers—after filing the return—that there was an omission or a wrong statement in the ITR. This could lead to the imposition of penalties by the tax department. To correct such mistakes, the department gives you the opportunity to file revised returns.
WHEN TO FILE A REVISED RETURN
Section 139(5) of the Income-tax Act, 1961 allows you to file revised returns. But the revised return can only be filed if the original return was filed on or before the due date of that assessment year. Accordingly, if you are thus eligible to file a revised return, you can do so up to one year from the end of the relevant assessment year or before the assessment of your return by the department, whichever is earlier.
Typically, the department sends you a communication regarding the assessment of your return. So, if you had filed the return for AY17 on or before 5 August, you can revise it till 31 March 2018 or before your return is assessed by the department, whichever is earlier. Similarly, you can revise your return for the AY16—if it was filed before 7 September 2015—till 31 March 2017, provided its assessment has not been started.
Ideally, you should immediately file the revised return upon discovery of any omission or wrong statement in the originally filed return. If you declare any additional income in the revised return, you may have to pay additional tax and the interest on it.
A revised return is not considered a belated return, i.e., a return filed after the due date. Therefore, you can continue to claim the benefits of the return, in line with the original return. For instance: in case of a belated return, the assessee is not allowed to carry forward the capital losses, whereas in a revised return it can be done.
HOW TO REVISE A RETURN
Note that a return can be revised any number of times, as long as the conditions mentioned above are fulfilled. However, the mode of filing the revised return cannot be different from the mode used to file the original return. That means, if the original return was filed electronically, your revised return should also be filed electronically. Similarly, if the original return was filed physically, the revised return should also be filed physically.
The process, and the forms, for the revised return are similar to those for filing of the original return. While filing a revised return, however, you must indicate that it is a revised return, by checking the appropriate box in the online or the offline form. The acknowledgement number of the original return also needs to be mentioned in the revised return. Once a revised return is filed, the original or previous return is deemed to be withdrawn.
A revised return can be filed multiple times—within the stipulated window of time—if needed, and only the latest one will be considered as valid.