Tax Returns – Cases of Revision and Missed Due Dates
Who isn’t familiar with the idea of ‘belated’ after having missed birthdays or festival greetings? Well it applies likewise in the Income Tax universe to returns that you might have delayed filing within the period they were supposed to be submitted in. More precisely, where a taxpayer could not file a tax return within the due date, or in case where an assessing officer has issued a notice and the time limit of the notice hasn’t been adhered to, a belated return is the way to go. Another case would be when an ‘assessee’ uncovers an inadvertent error or omission in an already submitted tax return. For correction, the assessee may file a revised return. Let us go through the process for income tax returns which are to be revised or belatedly submitted to tax authorities.
Regarding the standard time limits for filing of regular returns the criteria is divided into two. For salaried individuals, or those individuals who are self-employed, the due date prescribed for filing income tax return is 31st July of the year. The date of 30th September is prescribed for companies and persons eligible for tax audits.
Filing Belated Returns: Deadline
The deadline for filing a late tax return is either prior to the finish of the related assessment year or prior to the conclusion of the assessment, whichever comes first.
Penalty for Belated Filing
It is better to be late than never. However, when income tax returns are concerned you’re either on time or you pay the price! Valid from the fiscal year 2017-18 for persons with income above Rs. 500,000, the new Income Tax rules levy a penalty of Rs. 5,000 if return is filed post due date but before 31st December. Any later than 31st December and the penalty is doubled to Rs. 10,000. For persons with income below Rs. 500,000, there is some relief in that the penalty prescribed for late filing is Rs. 1,000. Furthermore, the benefit of carry forward of certain losses to next year is lost as well when you default in submitting your income tax return on the proper time.
Causes for Filing Revised Return
Permissible reasons for filing revised returns include discovery of any errors or omissions in the return by assessee after original filing. The rules are very clear that only inadvertent mistakes maybe revised. This clearly bars revision for any unfair or illegal acts.
Filing Revised Returns: Deadline
The deadline for filing a revised return is either before the finish of one year from related assessment year or prior to the conclusion of the assessment, whichever comes first.
Limit on Number of Times of Revised Filing of Return
There is no bar to the number of times a revised return maybe filed. However, it must be within the time limits set under the rules. In fact, such is the ease allowed that the return maybe revised even if a refund has been claimed for the same.
Can the Belated Tax Return be Revised?
From the year 2016-17 onwards, the regulations grant permission for belated returns filed u/s 139(4) to be revised. However, it is disallowed for prior periods owing to the fact that different Income Tax regimes were applicable for those periods.
How Carry Forward Losses are Affected by Revised Tax Returns?
The data as per the revised return is considered for all future references i.e. only the figures as shown in the revision are looked at for calculation of income and only losses as per revised income calculation are considered for carry forward to next period. All previous calculations are disregarded and there will be no questioning regarding them.
Significant Judicial Decisions for Revised Income Tax Returns
When revising the Income Tax return the following points should be kept in mind:
- Only an inadvertent error or omission would be eligible for making a revision in the Income Tax return u/s 139(5). There must not be mal-intent behind the revision.
- The mistake or omission must be uncovered by the taxpayer himself. If revealed by the intervention of an assessing officer, it would not be eligible for a revised return u/s 139(5).
- Changes in these circumstances do not constitute a revised return i.e. change of method of accounting, change of status or accounting year by a taxpayer.