Audit

Key Sections of the Income Tax Act for Filing Income Tax Returns

In this article, we will discuss various sections of the Income Tax Act that help us file our Income Tax Returns (ITRs) on time. This topic is crucial for clearing up any confusion among assessees regarding the due dates for filing ITRs.

Section 139(1) of the Income Tax Act, 1961

Under Section 139(1), returns must be filed before the due dates (31st July or 31st October of the relevant assessment year) to avoid penalties.

  • General Assessees: Every assessee, except those whose accounts are not auditable under the Income Tax Act or any other law, must file their returns by 31st July of the relevant assessment year.
  • Companies Without International or Specified Domestic Transactions: The due date for filing returns is 31st October of the relevant assessment year.
  • Other Auditable Entities: Assessees, other than companies, whose accounts need auditing under any law, must file returns by 31st October of the relevant assessment year.
  • Entities Filing Reports Under Section 92E: The due date for filing returns is 30th November of the relevant assessment year.

Section 139(4) of the Income Tax Act, 1961 (Belated Return)

If an assessee does not file a return by the due dates mentioned above, they must file a belated return by 31st December of the relevant assessment year.

Section 139(5) of the Income Tax Act, 1961 (Revised Return)

If an assessee finds omissions or errors in the return filed under Section 139(1), they can revise their return. The revised return must be filed by 31st December of the relevant assessment year, the same deadline as for belated returns.

Section 139(8A) of the Income Tax Act, 1961 (Updated Return)

Any assessee may furnish an updated return within 24 months from the end of the relevant assessment year. For example, the income tax return for the financial year 2021-22 can be filed by 31st March 2025.

Conditions for Filing an Updated Return:

  • You cannot file an updated return for a loss return.
  • You cannot decrease your tax liability in the updated return compared to the original or revised return.
  • You cannot file an updated return if there has been a search, survey, or notice issued against you by the income tax department.

Section 139(9) of the Income Tax Act, 1961 (Defective Return)

If the assessing officer finds errors or omissions in your filed return, they will declare it defective and issue a notice. You must rectify the defects and resubmit the return within the prescribed timeline.

Conclusion

The Income Tax Department provides ample time for assessees to file their returns and pay the appropriate tax to the government. By understanding these sections and adhering to the deadlines, assessees can avoid penalties and ensure compliance.


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