Belated Return and Revised Return for the Assessment Year 2020-21 may be filed on or before 31st May, 2021

In view of the adverse circumstances arising due to the severe Covid-19 pandemic, the CBDT, in exercise of its powers under Section 119 of the Income Tax Act, 1961 (‘the IT Act’), has issued a Circular No. 08/2021 dated 30th April, 2021 regarding extensions of time lines related to certain compliances by the taxpayers under the IT Act. The following relaxations in respect of income tax compliances have been provides –

a) Appeal to Commissioner (Appeals) under Chapter XX of the Income-tax Act, 1961 for which the last date of filing under that Section is 1stApril 2021 or thereafter, may be filed within the time provided under that Section or by 31stMay 2021, whichever is later;

b) Objections to Dispute Resolution Panel (DRP) under Section 144C of the Income-tax Act, 1961, for which the last date of filing under that Section is 1stApril 2021 or thereafter, may be filed within the time provided under that Section or by 31stMay 2021, whichever is later;

c) Income-tax return in response to notice under Section 148 of the Income-tax Act, 1961, for which the last date of filing of return of income under the said notice is 1stApril 2021 or thereafter, may be filed within the time allowed under that notice or by 31st May 2021, whichever is later;

d) Filing of belated return under sub-section (4) and revised return under sub-section (5) of Section 139 of the Income-tax Act,1961 for Assessment Year 2020-21, which was required to be filed on or before 31stMarch 2021, may be filed on or before 31stMay 2021;

e) Payment of tax deducted under Section 194-IA, Section 194-IB and Section 194M of the Income-tax Act, 1961 and filing of challan-cum-statement for such tax deducted, which are required to be paid and furnished by 30thApril 2021 under Rule 30 of the Income-tax Rules, 1962, may be paid and furnished on or before 31stMay 2021;

f) Statement in Form No. 61, containing particulars of declarations received in Form No.60, which is due to be furnished on or before 30thApril 2021, may be furnished on or before 31stMay 2021.

As per the above circular, filing of belated return under sub-section (4) and revised return under sub-section (5) of Section 139 of the Act, for Assessment Year 2020-21, which was required to be filed on or before 31st March, 2021, may be filed on or before 31st May, 2021.

Whether can a person file his ITR again which has been originally filed by that person with some mistakes or omission.

The valid question which comes into the mind of every person who is required to file Income Tax Return (‘ITR’) as per 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 tomake 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

  • Before the end of the relevant assessment year; or
  • Before completion of the assessment whichever is earlier.

For instance: If an assessee files the return for Financial Year 2019-20 (Assessment Year 2020-21) upto31st 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: Now, belated return and revised return for the Assessment year 2020-21 which was required to be filed on or before 31st March, 2021, may be filed on or before 31st May, 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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