It often happens that while filing income tax returns, we omit things or commit some mistakes. These mistake(s) make your return “defective,” and you’re issued a notice of defective return u/s 139(9). Section 139(9) of the Income Tax Act, 1961, states that when a return is found defective, the A.O. gives you a period of 15 days to correct the mistake. The return can be considered defective for one or many reasons, as stated below.
When any important information is missing or reported wrongly on the return, it is known as a defective return. In any of the above cases, the income tax department issues a defective notice u/s 139(9) to the taxpayers, intimating them about the same and asking them to correct the inaccuracies present in the return.
You are required to make the necessary corrections in the return within 15 days of receiving the notice. If you fail to correct the ITR on time, it might have certain consequences in the future.
Once you’ve been served with notice of defective return u/s 139(9), you must correct your return by revising it within 15 days from receipt by the Income Tax Department. You can also apply for an extension by writing an application to the Assessing Officer (A.O.) requesting an extension of the deadline for filing a revised return. Practically, it is seen that even a taxpayer rectifies the defect after the expiry of fifteen days. Still, before the assessment is made, the Assessing Officer may condone the delay and treat the return as valid.
However, if the response is not filed within 15 days or the extra days are granted, the original return filed is treated as an invalid return.
Your defective return will be treated as a non-filed or invalid return. This means the Income Tax Department will consider it as if you’ve not filed a return for the year. Consequently, your refund will also not be processed by the Income Tax Department, if any.
You will receive notice u/s 139(9) from the income tax department on the email ID entered while filing your ITR. Usually, these notices are received from CPC, and the subject line is 'Communication u/s 139(9) for PAN AWZXXXXXXX for the A.Y.2023-24'. The notice is attached to the email and protected with a password. The password to open the notice is PAN in lower case and the date of birth in the format DD/MM/YYYY.
Here’s how you can respond to income tax notices -
Step 1: Click on pending actions on the dashboard and then on e-proceedings.
Step 2: If you have not received any notice, you will see No e-proceedings records
Step 3: If there is any proceeding, you will see it in your pending actions.’ Click on ”For your action and view Notices“
Step 4: Click on ‘Notice/ Letter pdf’ to view the notice.
Step 4 (A): After you have viewed your notice, click on submit a response.
Step 5: After you have clicked on submit a response, you will see a response page where you will have to agree or disagree with the notice.
Step 6: If your response is ‘agree,’ you will see a screen where you will have to provide a response for the said defect.
Step 6 (A): If you disagree with the notice, you can select disagree in the given column and give reasons for the disagreement in the text box provided.
Step 7: Now, if you have selected the agree-on option and offline utility as the mode of response, submit the attachment file for rectifying the defect.
Earlier, it was possible to withdraw your response submitted to the defective notice under section 139(9). But this functionality is no more available. Hence, now you cannot withdraw the response made; instead, you can update or view the same.
Now that you know all about defective notice u/s 139(9) and how to respond to it, make sure you keep checking your email and respond to the notice within 15 days of receiving it. If you have also received a defective notice i/s 139(9) and need assistance with it, you can also contact us and book an eCA from Tax2win.