Revise your income tax return if you must but exercise caution

One by one, the tax department has been plugging loopholes to prevent tax evasion.  The latest is the diktat on revision of tax returns. A recent release from the tax department has warned people to not revise their returns to accommodate excess cash as current year’s income. Let’s understand in detail.


Who can revise tax returns?

A taxpayer who filed her return within the ‘due date’ of e-filing can revise her return.

The due date of filing tax returns for FY 2015-16 (AY 2016-17) was

5th August 2016 for Individuals

17th October 2016 for Businesses

So if you have filed your income tax return on or before this date for FY 2015-16, you can revise your income tax return.


Reasons for revising your tax return

The income tax act has laid down in which situations tax returns can be revised [as per section 139(5) of the income tax act]. A return filed within the due date can be revised –

  • If there is any omission
  • Wrong statement

However the revision should not significant alter income or profits. Also the intent of revision is to allow tax payers to correct ‘unintentional’ errors. The income tax department’s release specifically mentions the revision should not change form, substance and quantum of earlier returns. So if anyone has been considering increasing current year’s income to adjust for excess deposits, they must avoid doing so as significant revisions are likely to be scrutinized by the tax department.


Until when can returns be revised

Income tax returns which were submitted within the due date can be revised anytime, before the expiry of 1 year from the end of the relevant Assessment Year or before completion of assessment whichever is earlier. Basically, 1 year calculated from the end of AY of your return. For example returns for FY 2014-15 which were filed within the due date can be revised until 31st March 2017. 1 year from AY 2015-16 (for FY 2014-15) which is 31st March 2017.

Or if an assessment is going on, it can be revised any time before the assessment is complete. Do remember that if you have received an intimation under section 143(1), you are still eligible to revise your return if you notice an error or omission. So returns for which refund has been processed can also be revised so long as they were filed in time and the eligible period for revision has not elapsed.


Planning to revise your income tax return

This is as serious as it gets. The department is not letting anything off the hook. So revise your return if you have genuinely committed a mistake and are able to support it. Do not attempt to show a significant rise in income or profits from the previous return. Since such revision is likely to be scrutinized by the tax department. False or incorrect statements, concealment of income can attract penal provisions as per the income tax act.

But you are revising to include an income that you missed reporting, do revise your return. Sometimes taxpayers fail to include an income for which TDS appears in Form 26AS, they take TDS credit and fail to report the income. Revision must be done in genuine cases. Say if you have failed to consider an expense in your return or did not claim a valid deduction. Go ahead and revise.


Read here to find out how returns can be revised on ClearTax – here. You can revise your return on ClearTax even though it was filed somewhere else.


Need help with revising your tax return? Reach out to us and we’ll help you out.

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