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As per the existing provisions of Section 80AC of the Income Tax Act, no deduction would be admissible under sections 80IA, section 80IAB, section 80IB, section 80IC, section 80ID or section 80IE, unless the return of income by the assessee is furnished on or before the due date specified under Section 139(1). Other taxpayers who are claiming similar deductions do not come within the purview of Section 80AC.

With an objective of bringing uniformity in all income-based deductions, the government vide Budget 2018 has proposed that the scope of section 80AC be extended to all similar deductions which are covered under the heading “C—Deductions in respect of certain incomes” under Chapter VIA i.e from Sections 80IA to 80RRB. The impact of such an amendment shall be that no deduction would be allowed to a taxpayer under these provisions if the income-tax return is not filed on or before the due date prescribed under Section 139(1) of the Income Tax Act.

There also appears to be a misinterpretation that the proposed amendment would apply even to Section 80C i.e. to mean that the deduction under Section 80C would not be available if the return of income is not filed within the due date prescribed under Section 139(1). This is not true. As already mentioned above, the benefit of the claim of a deduction is not available only from Sections 80IA to 80RRB.

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