The valid question which comes into the mind of every person who is required to file Income Tax Return (‘ITR’) as per Income Tax Act, 1961 (‘the IT Act’), is ‘whether can a person file his ITR again which has been originally filed by that person with some mistakes or omission’. As a human being it is obvious that some mistakes could be. But don’t worry, an assessee who is required to file a return of income is entitled to ‘revise’ the return of income under Section 139(5) of IT Act originally filed by him to make such amendments, additions or changes as may be found necessary by him.

Revised return is a return which is filed under section 139(5) as revision for the original return. It is a revision for any omission or any wrong statement made in the filing of that original return. Such a revised return may be filed by the assessee at any time before the end of the relevant assessment year or before the assessment is made whichever is earlier.

Time limit for filing revised return reduced by Finance Act, 2016

Prior to amendment made by the Finance Act, 2016, Section 139(5) of the IT Act provided that “if any person, having furnished the 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 completion of assessment, whichever is earlier.”

The Finance Act, 2016 has substituted section 139(4) & 139(5) of the IT Act. Thereafter, by the Finance Act, 2017 w.e.f. 01.04.2018 the words “the expiry of one year from” has been omitted. Now, the current relevant provisions of Section 139(5) of the IT Act may be read as under-

“139(5) if any person, having furnished a return under sub-section (1) or sub-section (4), discovers any omission or any wrong statement therein, he may furnish a revised return at any time before the end of the relevant assessment year or before the completion of the assessment, whichever is earlier.”

Now as per the above amendment, time period to revise the original return has been reduced and revised return can be filed by an assessee any time

whichever is earlier.

For instance: If an assessee files the return for Financial Year 2019-20 (Assessment Year 2020-21) upto 31st December 2020. And later on, if he discovers some mistake, then he can file a revised return anytime up to 31 March 2021 or before the completion of Assessment, whichever is earlier.

Please be noted that reference to return filed in response to section 142(1) is missing in new substituted sub-section (4) and sub-section (5) of section 139 of the IT Act. As per the Explanatory Memorandum to the Finance Bill, 2016, the return which can be revised under section 139(5) also includes a return furnished in response to notice issued under subsection (1) of section 142.

Belated return can also be revised by Finance Act, 2016

Please be noted that reference to return filed under sub-section (4) is also added in new substituted sub-section (5) of section 139 of the IT Act. Now, as per the such amendment, a belated return filed under section 139(4) can be revised now. The Return eligible for revision are-

  • The original return filed u/s 139(1).
  • The belated return filed u/s 139(4).

If an individual fails to file his ITR before the due date, then as per section 139(4) of the IT Act he can file a belated return. A belated return can be filed at any time before the end of the relevant assessment year or before completion of assessment, whichever is earlier.

Remark: With effect from the financial year 2016-17, a belated return can be revised. However, remember the deadline to file belated return and filing the revised return for Financial Year 2019-20 is same i.e. March 31, 2021. Therefore, if you file your belated ITR for Financial Year 2019-20 on March 31, 2021, then you will not get the opportunity to file the revised return as the deadline for filing the same also expires on March 31, 2021.

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Disclaimer: Nothing contained in this document is to be construed as a legal opinion or view of either of the authors whatsoever and the content is to be used strictly for educative purposes only.

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