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income tax filing and how to fix them
October, 15th 2015

You may have filed your taxes well within deadline, but what if you find out later that, in your rush to get it done on time, you have made a mistake in your filing? It can be an error in calculation, form selection, or uploading an incomplete form.

The income tax department allows you to initiate amendments in your filed returns, and there is no cap for the number of possible revisions.

Here is everything you wanted to know about the common errors while filing income tax returns and ways to fix them post filing.

Common errors people make while filing tax returns

1. Choosing the wrong ITR form

The IT department has around nine forms for filling tax returns. Perhaps unsurprisingly, many taxpayers do not know the correct form to be used.

A common example is the use of the ITR 4S form by people earning income from other sources such as commissions. Instead of the ITR 4S form, the correct form for them is ITR 4 or ITR 2. If you use the wrong form, the returns will be considered null and void.

2. Mixing up of assessment year and financial year

Many income tax returns are rejected because of simple errors that occur due to confusion between the financial year and assessment year. To avoid this, you must understand that the financial year is the year for which you are filling the returns, while assessment year is the year in which you are filling it.

For example, if you file tax returns in August 2015, you are filling your returns for the financial year 2014-15 and the assessment year is 2015-16.

3. Errors in bank details

Many taxpayers complain about the non-receipt of tax refunds. Most often, this happens due to having provided the wrong bank details in the returns form. Tax refunds are available through ECS refund, cheque, or DD. If you have opted for ECS refund and have mentioned the wrong bank account number or IFSC code, your income tax refund will not be processed.

4. Not mentioning all sources of income

Errors in disclosing sources of income or income from various sources is another common omission made by taxpayers. Many people forget to include interest income from savings bank accounts and incomes like rental income in their ITR forms.

Failure in mentioning all sources of income can be an economic offence if done intentionally. If the assessment officer concludes the information was concealed deliberately, you can be fined anywhere between 100% and 300% of the due tax.

To avoid missing any income, you must tabulate all sources of income at one place before filling tax returns.

5. Failure to e-verify returns

If you have not sent the physical copy of the return for verification, you return filing may be considered void. The deadline for sending income tax returns verification is usually 120 days or four months from the last date of filling of tax returns.

The income tax department offers a further period of 2 years from the end of the financial year to file your return. For all late returns after this, they charge a fine of Rs. 5000 along with an interest of 1% per month up to the date of filling of tax return.

What possible alterations are allowed

If you have made a mistake while filing your returns, you can revise it under Section 139(5) of the IT Act.

You can rectify any errors within the stipulated deadline. For example, for the financial year ending March 31, 2015, the deadline for filing returns was August 31, 2015, which was further extended to September 7, 2015. So, if you want to make amendments in your filed income tax return, you can do so as many times as you wish for up to 24 months from the last date of the financial year.

How to revise already filed ITR

Here is a look at how you can file a revised IT return.

To revise a filed income tax return, you will need the 15-digit acknowledgement number of the original tax filing and the date of filing of your return. You can revise it either manually by physical re-submission or by uploading a revised return online.

To revise your ITR online, you can login to the income tax website at and select the menu under filing under Section 139 (5) to make appropriate changes. Then make the desired changes to the file and re-upload it. You will receive a rectification request number and an acknowledgment number once your revised return is uploaded successfully.

The income tax assessing officer has the authority to check if the revisions filed are possible omissions or deliberate concealment. So if you forgot to disclose some income or claim a deduction, make sure you file a revised tax return form to avoid penalty.

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