scorecardresearchWhat is a defective ITR and how do you correct it? We explain

What is a defective ITR and how do you correct it? We explain

Updated: 05 Jul 2023, 02:39 PM IST

An inaccurate ITR is essentially a defective ITR that must be corrected in time, else you will get a notice from the Income Tax Department asking you to correct the anomaly while seeking more information on your income details.

What is a Defective ITR and how to rectify it?

What is a Defective ITR and how to rectify it?

Taxpayers are hurriedly filing their income tax returns (ITRs). No one wants to be late and then be penalized for not submitting their income details on time. Many have finally downloaded Form 16 shared via email by their employers. 

The frenzied behaviour is evident as Chartered Accountants share necessary tips and important details on relevant sections on their social media handles. However, despite all relevant information shared on the Income Tax portal and various tax-related sites, many people do goof up while filling in their details.

Filing an ITR form requires utmost caution to avoid the possibility of declaring a Defective ITR. Any mistakes made during the process can lead to receiving a notice, known as an Income Tax Notice, from the Income Tax Department. Although the mention of such a notice might cause anxiety, correcting a defective ITR is a straightforward process. Therefore, there is no need to panic. In the following guide, we will explain how to rectify a defective ITR.

What can spell your ITR to be defective?

A Defective ITR refers to an ITR that contains errors or mistakes, which can even include discrepancies in the spelling of your name. For instance, if the spelling of your name does not match the spelling on your PAN card, your ITR can be deemed defective. In such cases, you may receive a notice under section 139(9) of the Income Tax Act, 1961.

There can be so many reasons why the department may classify your ITR as defective ITR.

  • ITR can be declared defective if there is a discrepancy in the spelling of your name between your PAN and ITR.
  • Entering an incorrect challan number while filing ITR can also lead to a defective ITR.
  • Even if advance tax is paid for the wrong assessment year, it can result in a defective ITR.
  • Defective ITRs can arise when employers file incorrect tax deducted at source (TDS) returns.
  • Inaccurate information in forms such as 26AS, AIA, or TIS can also lead to a defective ITR.
  • A mismatch between income and TDS can result in a defective ITR.
  • The failure to conduct a required tax audit can render the ITR defective.
  • If a person deposits less tax than the required amount, a notice declaring their ITR defective can be issued.

How do you correct an incorrect or defective ITR?

If you have yet to file your ITR for a specific assessment year, you have two options: filing a revised ITR or a fresh ITR. If your total income and deductions remain unchanged, you can opt for a fresh ITR. However, if there are changes, you will need to file a revised ITR.

To file a revised ITR for the financial year 2022-23 and assessment year 2023-24, the deadline is December 31, 2023. Failure to meet this deadline may result in a notice from the Income Tax Department.

The department allows for the filing of an updated ITR in certain circumstances. If you receive a notice from the department, you must respond within 15 days. Requesting an extension of time is also possible, provided you provide a valid reason, which the department may grant.

Not responding to the department’s notice will render your ITR invalid, indicating that you failed to file an ITR for that assessment year, and may result in penalties.

Below are some reasons why you may need to file a revised ITR:

  • Errors were made in your original ITR.
  • Additional income was received after filing the original ITR.
  • Deductions were claimed for which you were ineligible in the original ITR.
  • You wish to change your filing status (e.g., from single to married).

To file a revised ITR, you can do so online through the department’s website or via mail. You will need to provide the same information as in the original ITR and state the reason for the revision.

It's important to note that a revised ITR can only be filed before the due date for filing the ITR for that assessment year. Missing the due date will require filing an updated ITR.


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First Published: 05 Jul 2023, 02:39 PM IST