To err is human, to revise is necessary

You can make changes to deductions, exemptions and income disclosures

Human errors are inevitable. The taxman, too, understands that mistakes occur while filing income tax returns. The department allows tax payers to revise their returns and make changes such as rectification of deductions or exemptions claimed and disclosure of any income that was missed while filing the original return.

Make use of this option soon after you realise the mistake. Because, on verification, if the Income Tax Department finds any of the information false, you will be liable for huge penalties under the Income Tax Act.

In fact, you should revise the return when an intimation or notice is received from the department for higher demand of tax and to which you agree to.

Revise before end of AY

The due date to revise a return is the end of the respective assessment year or the completion of assessment, whichever is earlier. For instance, revision of return for FY2016-17 (AY 2017-18) should have been done by March 31, 2018, which is the end of that assessment year. But, if the I-T Department finishes the assessment (scrutiny assessment or best judgement assessment) before that, the date of assessment completion will be the last day to revise your return.

Remember, intimation that you receive under Section 143 (1) for cases such as refund, arithmetical errors and incorrect claims cannot be considered assessment. In other words, you can revise the return even after you receive such intimation.

There’s no limit on the number of times a return could be revised if it is filed within the deadline for revision. But use the option sparingly as multiple revisions could lead to scrutiny by the I-T department, which could drag you through unwanted procedures such as substantiating the income declared and the expenses claimed, with the help of evidences.

To revise your return, all you need is the acknowledgement number and the date of filing of the original return. If the return is revised multiple times, only the details of the original return should be used on each new revision.

One can revise the returns that are filed even after the due date. That is, you can revise the return of FY 2017-18 even if it is filed after August 31, 2018 (due date to file the return). But do not take that statement for granted. Delayed return-filing has its own disadvantages. You will not be allowed to carry forward the losses under the heads capital gains and business/profession. Also, interest will be levied under Section 234A upon the amount of tax due, at 1 per cent per month. This is in addition to a penalty of ₹5,000 or ₹10,000.

Tax payable and refund

If the revision leads to additional tax payable, pay the self-assessment tax using challan 280. In such cases, you may have to pay interest under Sections 234B and 234C for non-payment of advance taxes.

In case of refund, you will receive an intimation under Section 143 (1) in due course of time. Also, note that if the original return was filed offline, it cannot be revised online. Similarly, if the original return was e-filed, revision is not possible through offline mode. Physical forms have an option to declare that it is a revised return. And for online revisions, there is a separate tab on the e-filing website.

Revision, not rectification

It is to be remembered that revision of return is different from rectification. Unlike revision, rectification should be made only after you receive an intimation from the Central Processing Centre (CPC) of the I-T Department. This order generally comes in response to a rectification request filed by the taxpayer or when the department notices any discrepancy. Cases for rectification include mistake in gender, advance tax disparity and mismatch in tax credit.

Note that a change in bank account number or address should be made only using revision of return and not rectification.

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