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What is Revised income tax returns under Section 139 (5)?

Section 139 (5) of the Income Tax Act, 1961 allows taxpayers to file a revised income tax return if they have made mistakes in the returns which was filed earlier. Such mistakes can be due to the following reasons –

  • Wrong bank details
  • Incorrect personal information
  • Use of a wrong income tax return form
  • Mismatch of income between the income tax return and Form 26AS
  • Error in mentioning the residential status
  • Unintentional omission of recording foreign income or foreign assets, etc.

In these and other cases of mistakes committed by the tax-payer, the facility of a revised income tax return is allowed by the Income Tax Act. When the taxpayer corrects the errors and refiles his income tax return, it is called a revised income tax return.


Who can file a revised income tax return?

Any taxpayer who has already filed his/her income tax returns can revise and refile an income tax return. Even if the return is filed after the due date, which is called a belated income tax return, a revised income tax return can be filed on such belated returns.


How to e-file revised income tax return on income tax website?

Now that filing of income tax returns is done online, revised returns can also be filed online through the e-filing website of the Income Tax Department. In such cases, the steps to e-file your revised income tax returns are as follows –

  • Visit the e-filing website of the Income Tax Department.
  • On the home page, log into your online account by entering in your user ID, password and the captcha code displayed.
  • On your account, click on ‘E-File’ and then choose ‘Income Tax Returns’.
  • When the ‘Income Tax Return’ page opens, your PAN Card number would be automatically entered in the PAN card details box. You should, then, choose the following –
    1. Assessment Year
    2. ITR Form Number
    3. Under ‘Filing Type’ you would have to choose ‘Original/Revised Return’
    4. Under ‘Submission Mode’ you would have to choose ‘Prepare and Submit Online’
  • Thereafter, the online ITR form would open. In that form, under the tab ‘General Information’ you would find ‘Return Filing Section’. Under this option, select ‘Revised Return under Section 139 (5)’ and under the ‘Return Filing Type’ select ‘Revised’
  • You should, then, enter in the ‘Acknowledgement Number’ and ‘Date of Filing’ of the original income tax return that you filed. The acknowledgment number should be a 15-digit number which is available when you file your income tax returns online. However, if you have filed your income tax returns offline and the acknowledgement number is not a 15-digit number, the acknowledgement number should be suffixed by ‘0’ as many times as needed to make it a 15-digit number. For instance, if the acknowledgement number is 789654123321, it would become 789654123321000 for filing of revised return.
  • After the acknowledgement number and date of filing are entered, you would be allowed to add the details and correct the errors done in the original return.
  • Once all the correction and editing is done, you can submit the revised income tax return online.
  • Thereafter, you would have to e-verify your revised income tax return. You can also verify your return offline by sending the return to the Centralized Processing Centre of the Income Tax Department at Bengaluru through a speed post.
Instead of preparing a revised income tax return online, you can upload the XML of your revised return online if you have prepared a revised return offline. The process is as follows –
  • Visit the e-filing website of the Income Tax Department.
  • Download the appropriate ITR preparation software from the website. To do so you would have to choose ‘IT Return Preparation Software’ link which is available under ‘Download’.
  • Extract the downloaded software into a new folder and open the folder to open the software.
  • Alternatively, you can import the XML of the return which has already been uploaded and which needs revision. You can download such XML by choosing ‘My Account’ and then choosing ‘View e-filed returns or Forms’. Choose the required ‘Income Tax Return’ from the dropdown menu and click on ‘Submit’. Choose the relevant ‘Acknowledgement Number’ of the ITR to be revised and click on ‘XML’ to download the return.
  • In the ITR software, under ‘Filed u/s’, choose ‘Revised Return under Section 139 (5)’
  • You should, then, enter in the ‘Acknowledgement Number’ and ‘Date of Filing’ of the original income tax return that you filed. The acknowledgment number should be a 15-digit number which is available when you file your income tax returns online. However, if you have filed your income tax returns offline and the acknowledgement number is not a 15-digit number, the acknowledgement number should be suffixed by ‘0’ as many times as needed to make it a 15-digit number
  • Correct the mistakes in the ITR form and generate the XML of the revised return.
  • Visit the income tax portal and log into your account by entering in your user ID, password and the captcha code displayed
  • On your account, click on ‘E-File’ and then choose ‘Income Tax Returns’.
  • When the ‘Income Tax Return’ page opens, your PAN Card number would be automatically entered in the PAN card details box. You should, then, choose the following –
    1. Assessment Year
    2. ITR Form Number
    3. Under ‘Filing Type’ you would have to choose ‘Original/Revised Return’
    4. Under ‘Submission Mode’ you would have to choose ‘Upload XML
  • Thereafter, you should upload the XML of the revised return in the e-filing portal.
  • Thereafter, you would have to e-verify your revised income tax return. You can also verify your return offline by sending the return to the Centralized Processing Centre of the Income Tax Department at Bengaluru through a speed post.

When to file a revised income tax return?

There is a time duration within which the revised income tax return should be filed. This duration is earlier of the following –

  • Completion of the relevant assessment year
  • Completion of assessment

So, for the financial year 2019-20, if you have to file a revised income tax return, the revised return should be filed either before completion of assessment or before 31st March 2021, whichever is earlier.

Note: Prior to FY 2017-18 (AY 2018-19), revised return could be filed till; before the expiry of 1 year from the end of relevant AY.
This means, revised return for AY 2017-18 (FY 2016-17) can be filed till earlier of 31st March, 2019 or completion of assessment.


What are the consequences of filing a revised return?

Ans - If there are minor changes in your revised return like change of bank account details, personal details, etc. there would be no consequences of filing a revised return. However, in case of undeclared income or other important rectification done on the revised return, the tax department might pick up the change and the tax filed in the earlier return might be taken up for scrutiny.


Things to keep in mind when filing a revised income tax return

If you are filing a revised income tax return, here are the things which you should remember –

  • A revised income tax return would substitute the original income tax return completely. Thus, once the revised return is filed, it would be considered to be the final income tax return of the taxpayer.
  • If your income tax return has been processed and you have availed a refund, a revised return can be filed if it is filed within the specified due date.
  • If the ITR form has to be changed, a revised return can be filed.
  • You can file a revised tax return as many times as you want as there is no limit to the number of times of filing the return.
  • If the assessment of your income tax return is completed by the assessing officer under the provisions of Section 143-(3) of the Income Tax Act, 1961, a revised return cannot be filed.

No penalty or charge is levied by the income tax department if you file a revised income tax return. So, if you have made mistakes in filing your income tax return given the technicalities involved, don’t be afraid. You can file a revised return and correct any errors which you have done. If you don’t file a revised return and there are any mistakes, the income tax department would issue you a notice stating your mistakes. If you are eligible for any income tax refund, the refund would not be allowed till a revised return is filed. So, revise your income tax returns if required and file a correct return.


FAQs on revised return

Q- How to correct a submitted income tax return?

Ans. You can correct your income tax return by filing a revised income tax return.


Q- Can I file a revised income tax return?

Ans. Yes, any taxpayer can file a revised income tax return if such a return is filed before the completion of the assessment year or before the end of the assessment of the return, whichever is earlier.


Q- By when can the revised return for AY 2019-20 be filed?

Ans. The revised return for assessment year 2019-20 can be filed on or before 31st March 2020 or completion of assessment of the original return, whichever is earlier. Take expert help to avoid further delays.


Q- What if the revised return has some errors in it?

Ans. If the revised return has any errors, you can file another revised return within specified time limit to correct them.


Q- Do I need to e-verify the revised ITR which I file?

Ans. Yes, the revised ITR also needs to be e-verified to complete the tax filing process.


Q-How many times returns can be revised?

Ans. You can revise income tax returns as many times you want. The income tax department does not specify the number of times a return can be revised.It is recommended to file revised return (if required) only once, with all the revisions needed to be covered.


Q-What is the last date to file a revised return ?

Ans. As per Sec 139(5), an assessee can file revised return before the end of relevant assessment year or before completion of assessment, whichever is earlier.


Q- How do I correct a defective income tax return?

Ans. A defective return can be corrected by filing revised return.


Q-Who can file a revised return?

Ans. Person who files the original tax return on or before the due date can file the revised income tax return before the completion of relevant AY or before the completion of assessment.

Q- Where can I show the refund amount I got while filing Revised Income Tax Return Under Section 139(5)?

Ans. The refund amount received need not be shown in the Revised Income Tax Return. You just need to file the ITR as usual and the Income Tax Department will check this automatically at the time of processing the ITR. Refunds already issued will be adjusted with the refund claimed in the ITR.

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CA Abhishek Soni

Abhishek Soni is a Chartered Accountant by profession & entrepreneur by passion. He is the co-founder & CEO of Tax2Win.in. Tax2win is amongst the top 25 emerging startups of Asia and authorized ERI by the Income Tax Department. In the past, he worked in EY and comes with wide industry experience from telecom, retail to manufacturing to entertainment where he has handled various national and international assignments.