It is natural to make a mistake or two when you do something you don’t do often or are not used to doing – like filing income tax returns. Sometimes we may miss entering certain information. Sometimes there could be an error. In such cases, you will get a defective notice as per Section 139(9) to rectify them. These mistakes, if not rectified in time, can lead to not-so-pleasant repercussions. In this article, we shall talk about what happens in case of a defective return notice issued by the IT Department.

1. Common cases when IT Dept send defective return notice

2. How to respond to a defective return

3. How to revise your income tax return in response to the notice

defective income tax return notice

1. Common cases when IT Dept send defective return notice

An intimation from the Income Tax Department is sent to a taxpayer when the Department has found an error with the income tax return you have filed. Common cases when the notice for defective return is sent:

a. When you have filled up details of taxes paid, but have not provided income details, the Income Tax Department deems it defective.

b. A notice for defective return is sent when tax deducted has been claimed as a refund, but no income details are provided in the return.

c. The Department sends you a notice for defective return under Section 139(9) when you haven’t paid your taxes in full.

d. When you are required to maintain a balance sheet and profit and loss statement but haven’t filled in the details in your income tax return, the tax return is declared defective.

e. The name mentioned on the income tax return does not match with the name on the PAN card.

2. How to respond to a defective return

Step 1: You must revise your return addressing the defects the Income Tax Department has pointed out within a period of 15 days from the receipt of intimation order under Section 139(9).

Step 2: You can seek an extension by writing to your local Assessing Officer if you fail to revise your income tax return within 15 days.

3. How to revise your income tax return in response to the notice

Step 1: Open the income tax e-filing website and log in to your account with User ID and password.

Step 2: Click on ‘e-File’ tab and select the option ‘e-File in response to notice u/s 139(9)’. A list of defective return notices will be displayed based on your case.

Step 3: Choose an ITR form based on the assessment year and click on ‘Submit’ to view/download the defective notice issued by the assessing officer.

Step 4: You must choose one of the following options:

  • Demand is correct: Choose this option if you agree with the department’s calculations. If there is a due payable, you must pay it immediately.
  • Demand is partially correct: Upon selecting this option, two amount fields will appear—one for the incorrect amount and one for the amount you think is correct. You must also select a reason from the drop down list to justify why you think the demand is partially correct. It may be required to provide additional information based on the reason you select.
  • Disagree with the demand: Select this option only if you think the demand from the income tax department is incorrect. Further, you will be asked for a reason to justify your stand.
  • Demand is not correct but agree for adjustment: When you select this option, you must mention the reasons for disagreement. Once the information is sent to the department, a transaction ID will be created.

Step 5: In the ITR form, select the option ‘In response to a notice under Section 139(9) where the original return filed was a defective return’.

Step 6: Enter the details such as communication reference number (provided on the notice) and the acknowledgement number, the date of filing the original return, and other information on the ITR form.

Step 7: Generate the XML file.

Step 8: Select the option ‘e-file in response to notice under Section 139(9)’ and upload the latest XML file on the income tax e-filing portal using the password mentioned in the notice.

Step 9: You will see a confirmation message with an acknowledgement number on the screen upon successfully uploading.

In a nutshell, responding to a defective return notice is not time-consuming anymore like earlier thanks to the technological advancements. If you choose to file your returns with Cleartax, not only is the process quick, but we will also ensure that you do it in an error-free manner. Do not miss the D-day – 30th November 2020.

  • I have received a defective return notice under section 139(9), within how many days should I respond to the notice ? Can I ask for extension of notice?

    You have respond to notice with in 15 days form the date of such notice. You can ask for extension of further 15days by writing to your local assessing officer.
  • What happens if I do not respond to the defective return notice ?

    You if don’t rectify the return within 15 days or extended time, your return will be considered as invalid and treated as if you have not filed your return.

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