An assessee who is required to file a return of income is entitled to revise the return of income originally filed by him to make such amendments, additions or changes as may be found necessary by him. Such a revised return may be filed by the assessee at any time before the assessment is made. There is no limit under the income tax Act in respect of the number of time for which the return of income may be revised by the assessee. However, if a person deliberately files a false return he will be liable to be imprisoned under section 277 and the offence will not be condoned by filing a revised return.
As per section 139(5), the revised return can be filed before the expiry of one year from the end of the relevant assessment year or before the completion of assessment, whichever is earlier. Thus return of A.Y 2011-12 can be revised till 31st March 2013 or before the completion of the assessment whichever is earlier.
Point to Remember
1- Revise tax returns within one year from the end of the assessment year or before the assessment. For the financial year 2010-11 one can filed the revised return up to march 2013.
2-You can’t refile your return if income tax department already did the assessment of your return.
3-If you missed any deduction or income in the return you can refile it.
4-If some information come to your knowledge after filing the return you can refile it.
5-The receipt no. & the acknowledgement no. is must for the refiling of the return.
6-Revision is allowed only if the omission was unintentional. The benefit of Section 139 (5) cannot be claimed by a person who has filed fraudulent returns. Section 139 (5) will apply only to cases of ‘omission or wrong statements’ and not to cases of ‘concealment or false statements’. Once you revise returns, the original stands withdrawn. If the omission(s) in the original return is intentional, the assessee will be penalised
7-No need to pay interest u/s 234A if any tax due, but you have to pay 234B, 234C interest if due
8- you can only revise the return if the original one was filed on time. Belated returns cannot be revised
9- You can file a revised return only in case of ‘omission or wrong statements’ and not for ‘concealment or false statements’
10- Returns can be revised when filed pursuant to notice under Section 148 as it is provided u/s 148 that for such return all the provisions of section 139 shall apply.
11- You will have to cough up 100 to 300 per cent of tax due as penalty for concealing income
12- If the returns are revised before the notice under Section 148 is issued, then there is no penalty.
13- If income was hidden in the original return and is revised and disclosed after the assessing officer pursued it, then a penalty is levied. If the revised return shows a higher income than originally declared, a penalty may or may not be levied.
14- Revised returns have a higher chance of landing a scrutiny letter from the I-T department.
15- To file revised returns, one can use both the online and physical methods. However, you can revise returns online only if you have filed the original returns online and have the 15-digit acknowledgement number. You cannot, otherwise, file returns online. The I-T department searches for the original details once the returns are revised. On not finding the original return, an error is shown. Therefore, it may be wise to revise in physical form.
16- If the taxpayer has revised return after the survey and it was has found that the mistake in the original return was not bonafide then levy of penalty is justified.
17- If some income was concealed in the original return and revised return disclosing such income is filed after the AO has unearthed such undisclosed income then penalty can be levied.
18- If the asseessee after the search filed the revised return declaring higher income than declared in original one, to buy peace of mind and to avoid litigation then penalty cannot be levied .
19- If the taxpayer has declared higher income in revised return of his own and there is nothing to prove that the taxpayer had concealed income malafidely then no penalty can be levied.
20- If the asseessee after the search filed the revised return declaring higher income than declared in original one, to buy peace of mind and to avoid litigation then penalty cannot be levied.
Text of Section 139(5)
139(5) If any person, having furnished a return under sub-section (1), or in pursuance of a notice issued under sub-section (1) of section 142, discovers any omission or any wrong statement therein, he may furnish a revised return at any time before the expiry of one year from the end of the relevant assessment year or before the completion of the assessment, whichever is earlier :..”