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When and how to revise tax returns
August, 16th 2018

It is not uncommon for taxpayers to commit errors or miss out on important information while filing tax returns. Income-Tax laws provide for a mechanism to correct these mistakes by allowing you to file a revised return. Let us understand how to file a revised return.

When can a return can be revised:
Returns can be revised to correct errors that might have crept into the earlier return filed or to include information that had been inadvertently missed out to be provided earlier. Some of the scenarios where a return can be revised are as follows:

Personal details have been incorrectly mentioned in the earlier file return
Bank account details have been incorrectly mentioned. This detail assumes higher significance if you have a refund due
Have missed to disclose an income received during the financial year because it is tax exempt. Non-disclosure of exempt income is incorrect. Ideally, you must disclose income and then claim the exemption in the return itself. In fact, there is a separate schedule where you have to provide details of all exempt income
Missed claiming applicable deductions. For example, a taxpayer paid premium of Rs 28,000 towards a medical policy taken for senior citizen parents. He is eligible to claim a deduction under Section 80D of Rs 30,000 (Rs 50,000 with effect from April 1, 2018) which he missed claiming. He can revise his return to claim this deduction
Missed claiming credit for taxes deducted at source
A revised return has to be filled in the same manner as you had filled your original return. The only changes would be:

Revised return would include the corrections carried out
It will also include details of the earlier return filed, such as, filing date and acknowledgment number
Time limit for filing a revised return
A revised return for Assessment Year (AY) 2018-19 must be filed on or before the end of the AY, that is, on or before 31 March 2019. However, for returns filed prior to AY 2018-19, there was a time limit of one year from the end of the AY, that was available for revising the returns.

Another significant point to be noted is that the facility to revise a return filed late (belated return), is available only from AY 2017-18 onwards, prior to which this was not possible.

There is no restriction on the number of times a return can be revised as long as it is within specified date for revising the return. However, multiple revisions may attract the attention of the I-T authorities.

Interestingly, returns that have been filed and also processed by the I-T department can also be revised as long as such revision is done within the prescribed timeline.

Mode of filing revised returns
Just as original returns, revised returns can also be filed either online or manually.

Online mode: The process is same as the regular filing of an original return. It becomes simpler if you are using a the return filing software, where you would have all details automatically populated. You would then be concerned only with carrying out the necessary changes and go ahead with the uploading. You may either e-verify the same or send the signed physical copy of acknowledgment (ITRV) to the Centralised processing Centre (CPC) within 120 days of filing the revised return

Physical mode - Submit the ITR form filled as above with the assessing officer of your jurisdiction.

Taxpayers must be cautious while filing the original return of income itself and ensure all information/details entered are correct. Revision of returns may invite unnecessary questioning from income tax department even in genuine cases of unintentional errors.

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