Top 5 Income Tax Notices & How to Avoid Them

Updated on: May 23rd, 2024


5 min read

A notice from the Income Tax office is not something that anyone likes to find in their mailbox. You might have filed your return in due time but still received a notice. The reasons can be many., Let’s understand why we end up receiving notices and how the same can be dodged to some extent (if not completely).

What is Scrutiny Assessment?

The tax department examines the returns filed and if it has any reason to believe that the information declared by the assessee is incorrect or incomplete then the case is taken up for scrutiny assessment. The assessee is informed throughissue of a notice and is supposed to take the required action as communicated by the department.

Maths behind Selection of Cases for Scrutiny

There are two types of scrutiny assessments: Manual and compulsory scrutiny cases. While the reasons for manual selection for scrutiny are case specific and can be avoided with little care on part of the assessee, the compulsory selection can’t be prevented.

Click here if you want an expert to help you with your scrutiny notice. 

The following are the most general reasons for selection of your case for scrutiny along with ways to dodge them.

Reason 1: Non filing of Income Tax Return (ITR)

  • Any person whose gross income (without any deductions) is above the exempted limit (Rs 2,50,000 in case of individuals below the age of 60) is required to file annual Income tax return in due time
  • If you are a resident Indian and you own a foreign asset or are a signing authority in a foreign bank account, you have to file tax return irrespective of your income
  • Even where your employer has already deducted TDS from your pay you need to file your return to avoid a notice

How to dodge

Pay your advance taxes on time and file returns within the due date.

Reason 2: Error with respect to TDS

The TDS that you show in your return and what is actually shown on the Traces website might not match. When there is such a mismatch, there are high chances of getting a notice.

How to dodge

  • Request your employer or any person who is deducting TDS on your income to deposit the amount with government treasury and file TDS return in due time
  • Always first reconcile the actual TDS that has been deducted from your income with your Tax Credit Statement (Form 26AS). Report the deductor if you find any discrepancy

Reason 3: Non-disclosure of Other Incomes

  • Every income that has been earned in the financial year is required to be reported in the tax return. People generally ignore interest income on the savings account, fixed deposits and recurring deposits
  • There are many cases where TDS is deducted at a lower rate by your banker but you belong to a higher tax slab. For example, banks deduct TDS on interest at 10% while you may be falling in tax slab of 30%. In such cases, you might come under scrutiny for non disclosure of complete information or an attempt to minimise tax liability

How to dodge

  • At the year end, request your banker to give interest statement of your deposits in various bank accounts
  • Report all the income from any source in your tax return even if that amount is exempt from tax

Note: Penalty for concealment of income can be up to a maximum of 300% of tax payable

Reason 4: Unnatural or High Value Transaction

Incidences where the transaction value is a lot higher considering the disclosure of your income in the return can attract issue of notice. For example, a salaried individual whose salary is Rs 4,00,000 but he made a total deposit in his bank account exceeding Rs.10,00,000.When such transaction comes in knowledge of the department, a notice can be expected. The thing to be noted is that all these transactions are reported directly to the tax department through annual information return filed by institutions like your broker, bank etc.

How to dodge

Report every transaction that you may have made. Even if there is loss, like the loss in share trading, it has to be reported to the department to avoid notice.

Reason 5: Defect in Income Tax Return

  • An Income tax return is a statement of income by the taxpayer to the tax department. At times, out of ignorance or lack of knowledge, people end up filing the wrong ITR form, may skip any mandatory information or commit some other error
  • If the return is not filed accurately, the tax department on its own discretion may issue a notice to you under Section 139(9) and direct you to file a revised return on income after correcting the error

How to dodge

  • Keep all your documents ready before you sit to file your ITR
  • Take help of an expert wherever you find difficulty in filing your return

Frequently Asked Questions

When does income tax department send tax notices?

If there is a mismatch in the information after filing the income tax return, then the income tax department will send the income tax notic. 

How do I avoid the income tax notice?

Filing return on time and accurately can avoid income tax notices.

Public Discussion

Get involved!

Share your thoughts!


Quick Summary

Notices from Income Tax office can be received for various reasons like non-filing of ITR, TDs errors, non-disclosure of incomes, high-value transactions, or defects in ITR. Scrutiny assessments can arise due to incorrect or incomplete information. Tips to avoid notices include prompt tax payments, accurate reporting of all incomes, matching TDs reported with Traces website, and disclosing all transactions.

Was this summary helpful?

Clear offers taxation & financial solutions to individuals, businesses, organizations & chartered accountants in India. Clear serves 1.5+ Million happy customers, 20000+ CAs & tax experts & 10000+ businesses across India.

Efiling Income Tax Returns(ITR) is made easy with Clear platform. Just upload your form 16, claim your deductions and get your acknowledgment number online. You can efile income tax return on your income from salary, house property, capital gains, business & profession and income from other sources. Further you can also file TDS returns, generate Form-16, use our Tax Calculator software, claim HRA, check refund status and generate rent receipts for Income Tax Filing.

CAs, experts and businesses can get GST ready with Clear GST software & certification course. Our GST Software helps CAs, tax experts & business to manage returns & invoices in an easy manner. Our Goods & Services Tax course includes tutorial videos, guides and expert assistance to help you in mastering Goods and Services Tax. Clear can also help you in getting your business registered for Goods & Services Tax Law.

Save taxes with Clear by investing in tax saving mutual funds (ELSS) online. Our experts suggest the best funds and you can get high returns by investing directly or through SIP. Download Black by ClearTax App to file returns from your mobile phone.

Cleartax is a product by Defmacro Software Pvt. Ltd.

Company PolicyTerms of use


ISO 27001

Data Center


SSL Certified Site

128-bit encryption