Filing the correct income tax return (ITR) is important. When it comes to filing our ITR forms, you must strive to be meticulous and avoid errors. However, rushing to file at the last minute can increase the likelihood of making unwanted mistakes. These errors may involve providing an incorrect bank account number, neglecting to declare interest income, claiming the wrong deduction, and so on. To minimise such mistakes, it is advisable to file the ITR with ample time for careful review and double-checking.
If you have made a mistake in your income tax return, there's no need to worry as the current income tax laws provide provisions for rectification. In case you have discovered an omission or incorrect statement after filing your return, you can correct it by filing a revised income tax return.
According to Section 139(5) of the Income-tax Act, 1961, individuals have the option to furnish a revised return if they find any mistakes in the original filing. The revised return must be filed within three months prior to the end of the relevant assessment year or before the completion of the assessment, whichever comes earlier. For example, the last date to file a revised return for the financial year 2022-23 (assessment year 2023-24) is December 31, 2023.
The assessment year refers to the year immediately following the financial year for which the return is filed. Therefore, if you have made an error in your ITR, here's the process to file a revised return.
Understanding revised returns
A revised return provides an opportunity to correct any errors or omissions that occurred during the filing of your original ITR. Essentially, filing a revised return means submitting your return again, but this time with accurate information. It is important to note that when filing a revised return, you must include details of the original return as a mandatory requirement.
Eligibility for filing revised return
Section 139(5) of the Income-tax Act grants every taxpayer who has filed their ITR the right to revise it in order to provide accurate information to the tax authorities. This provision even applies to individuals who file their ITR after the deadline has passed, known as belated ITR. Previously, only taxpayers who filed their ITR before the deadline were permitted to revise their returns. However, the current legislation allows for the revision of belated returns as well.
By when can you file a revised return?
In Budget 2021, the government introduced a significant change to the time limit for filing a revised ITR. Previously, individuals were allowed to file a revised ITR until March 31 of the relevant assessment year, up until FY 2019-20. However, starting from FY 2020-21, the deadline for filing a revised ITR has been advanced to December 31 of the relevant assessment year. Therefore, for FY 2022-23 (AY 2023-24), the last date to file a revised ITR is December 31, 2023. This reduction in the time limit provides taxpayers with a shorter window to make necessary corrections or updates to their filed ITR.
How to file a revised return?
Filing a revised ITR follows the same process as filing an original return. However, when submitting a revised ITR, it should be filed under Section 139(5) of the Income-tax Act. In the 'return filed under' column, you must select the option “Revised u/s 139(5)”. The ITR form will prompt you to provide details of the original ITR, including the receipt number and the date of filing the original ITR. These details are necessary to indicate that the current submission is a revised return correcting any errors or omissions in the original filing.
Limit to filing revised returns
There is no restriction on the number of times you can file a revised ITR. However, it is important to note that each time you file a revised return, you must provide the details of your original ITR. Filing a revised return offers an opportunity to correct any errors or omissions made in the original filing. However, it is essential to exercise caution and avoid misuse of this facility. It is advisable to take utmost care while filing the original tax return to minimise the need for subsequent revisions.
Verification of revised ITR is important
After filing your revised ITR, it is crucial to ensure that you verify it. The income tax department will not accept your revised tax return unless it is verified. You have several options to verify your revised ITR, including e-verification methods such as Aadhaar, OTP, or EVC through the Net Banking method. Alternatively, you can choose physical verification by sending a signed copy of the ITR-V (Acknowledgement Receipt) to the Centralised Processing Centre (CPC) in Bangalore.
It is important to note that the deadline for rectifying mistakes in your ITR form and filing a belated return is the same, which is December 31. Therefore, if you file a belated return on December 31, 2023, for the FY 2022-23 (AY 2023-24), you will miss the opportunity to rectify any errors in your ITR. Hence, it is advisable to file your revised ITR within the stipulated time frame to ensure proper rectification, if required.