To err is a human tendency. Mistakes have their own consequences. While filing your income-tax return, ensure that you provide details of income, deductions, and investments. Providing details elaborately is the only way to prevent facing notices from the income-tax department. Taxman does not differentiate between your intent for the mismatch of information or mistakes in the income tax return. The notice is issued under section 139(9) of the income-tax act, asking for the proof/ justification for the mistake and mismatch. The failure to respond can result in heavy penalties.
What is a Defective Return Notice U/S 139(9) of the Income Tax Act?
Simply put, a tax return is termed defective if has not been filed with all the necessary information and documents as required under the law. The income tax department sends to the taxpayers an intimation when the department finds an error with the income-tax return filed. There can be many instances of a defective return. Common cases when a defective return is sent are:-
1) If an assessee fails to file the return in the correct format as prescribed or leave any mandatory field empty
2) When an assessee fills up the details of the taxes paid but does not provide the details of the income earned, the income tax department deems it defective.
3) If you forget to attach a statement showing the computation of your tax liability
4) A notice of defective return is sent when tax deducted has been claimed as a refund, but no income details are provided in the return.
5) The income-tax department sends a notice for defective return under section 139(9) when the taxes have not been paid in full.
6) When you are required to maintain a balance sheet and statement of profit and loss but the same is not attached while filing the return.
7) The name in the income-tax return does not match with the name on the PAN card.
8) When an assessee miss to submit the proof of taxes. If you have paid advance tax or self-assessment tax; if you have submitted a claim of tax deducted at source (TDS) or tax collected at source (TCS), then you need to submit the relevant details as proofs.
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How to respond to a notice of the defective return?
You shall revise your return addressing the defects the income-tax department has pointed out within 15 days from the receipt of intimation. The Assessing officer can give you an extension if you fail to revise your income tax return within 15 days.
What are the consequences of not responding to notice under section 139(9)?
Failing to respond to the notice within the allotted time for notices under section 139(9) can result in your return being treated invalid. It means that it will as if you never filed your income-tax return for the year. This may result in you losing out on some of your exemptions and deductions since your return is treated as not filed. Moreover, you will not be allowed to carry forward your losses to be set off in future. Also, heavy penalties will also be levied.
How to revise your return in this case?
– In order to revise the return, choose the Assessment Year and download the ITR form from the Income-tax Department’s website
-In the return given, select the option “in response to a notice under section 139(9) where the original return filed was a defective return”
-Enter the date of the original return, acknowledgement number and communication reference number.
-Complete the return like you would normally do
-Generate the XML file and upload it on the Income-tax department website
-Select the “e-file in response to the notice u/s 139(9)” under the “e-file” section and upload the rectified XML using the password mentioned in the notice
-A confirmation message would appear with an acknowledgement number after a successful upload.