Made a mistake while filing tax returns? Here's how you can fix it

Every individual whose income exceeds the basic exemption limit of Rs 250,000 must file an income tax return. This limit is Rs 300,000 for those who are older than 60 years but less than 80 years, and Rs 500,000 for those who are more than 80 years old. 

While filing these returns, there is always the possibility of an unintentional or arithmetic error or an omission of details creeping into the return. This could be because of lack of taxpayer’s knowledge in tax laws or can be attributed to insufficient information while filing the return. 

In such a case, does the income tax law provide for correction of such mistakes? Yes, Income tax law does have a provision for correcting or rectifying such errors. This can be done by filing a revised return.

Revising the return of income

As per the law as it stands today, from the Assessment Year (AY) 2018-19, a return of income filed within the due date i.e. the original return of income (generally 31 July for individuals) or a return filed after the due date called the belated return, can be revised if a taxpayer discovers any omission or wrong statement in the return filed. Such revision has to be done before the end of the assessment year for which return was filed. For example, if a revision is required to be done for a return filed for Assessment Year 2018-19, such revision can be done anytime on or before 31 March 2019.

However, for returns filed prior to AY 2018-19, one has a time limit of 1 whole year form the end of an AY to file a revised return i.e for AY 2017-18 and prior years, a revised return could be filed anytime on or before 31 March 2019.

Another significant point to be noted is that the facility to revise a return filed late(belated return), is available only from AY 2017-18 onwards prior to which this was not possible.

All of the above provisions have further been simplified for your understanding in the following table:

At this juncture, it would also be relevant to make note of the following points:

  • There is no restriction on the number of times a return can be revised as long as it is within specified date for revising the return. However, multiple revisions may attract the attention of the income tax authorities
  • In general, revised return as per tax law provisions may not attract any penalty
  • Only unintentional omissions or wrong statements can be revised. Taxpayer who has intentionally concealed any income or made false statements or who would like to revise the return to increase income after income tax department caught them up cannot take  advantage of revising the return of income and setting it right. He can always be penalized for under-reporting of income.

Revision of return can be done online.

How to go about filing a revised return?

Online mode - 
The process is same as the regular filing of an original return. It becomes simpler if you are using any of the return filing softwares where you would have all the details automatically populated. You would then be concerned only with carrying out the necessary changes and go ahead with the uploading.

You may either e-verify the same or send the signed physical copy of acknowledgment (ITRV) to Centralised processing Centre (CPC) within 120 days of filing the revised return

Physical mode -

Submit the ITR form filled as above with the assessing officer of your jurisdiction

Having said the above, it is advisable for taxpayers to be cautious while filing the original return of income itself and ensure all the information/details entered are correct. Revision of returns may invite unnecessary questioning from income tax department even in genuine cases of unintentional errors. 

Business Standard is now on Telegram.
For insightful reports and views on business, markets, politics and other issues, subscribe to our official Telegram channel