You can revise tax return if the original return was filed on time

Belated tax return for a fiscal could be filed within two years from the end of the relevant fiscal.
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First Published: Wed, Oct 03 2012. 09 07 PM IST
I have been working since five years on contract basis. I have not filed my returns even once. Can I now file returns for all the years together?
Under section 139(1) of the Income-tax Act, it is obligatory for an individual whose total income exceeds a specified income threshold to file his tax return within the applicable due date. Returns filed after the specified date is considered belated return.
The belated tax return for a particular financial year (FY) could be filed within two years from the end of the relevant FY, assuming that your income had exceeded the threshold for each of the five FYs.
From FY08 to FY12, you will be allowed to file belated tax returns for FY11 and FY12 by 31 March 2013 and 31 March 2014, respectively. However, the belated tax return filed shall suffer the following limitations:
 You can’t revise the return even if you discover an omission or misstatement in the original tax return filed;
 The losses incurred in the respective FY (except for house property loss and business loss on account of unabsorbed depreciation and capital expenditure on scientific research) can’t be carried forward to subsequent FYs for offset against corresponding income streams.
Further, you would be required to pay interest/penalty on account of delay in payment of taxes and delay in filing returns within the due date.
For FY08 to FY10, the due date for filing a belated tax return for earlier FYs has expired and become time barred. However, in case the tax has not been paid before the due date, you could at least pay the tax along with interest to substantiate your bona fide intention.
The tax officer, at his discretion, may levy penalty for non-filing of tax returns within the specified due dates if the tax return is not filed within a year from the end of the relevant FY.
My brother bought an apartment two years back. I was living with him and used to contribute a portion of the equated monthly instalment (EMI) as rent. Can I show that contribution in my tax returns now?
—R. Sharma
The facts are not clear as to whether there was a rent contract between you and your brother or a loan document for payment of principal and interest.
Having said that, as per the provisions of the Act, if an individual discovers any omission or mis-statement in the original return filed, the law allows revision of returns, provided the original return was filed within the due date. Also, an individual can revise tax returns within two years from the end of the relevant FY, provided the original return was filed on time.
You could revise the original tax return only for FY11 onwards as the due date for revising returns for earlier FYs, if any, is time barred.
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First Published: Wed, Oct 03 2012. 09 07 PM IST
More Topics: Ask Mint | tax | income-tax | tax returns |
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