What happens if I make a mistake in my Income Tax returns

Tax returns often give people anxiety. From calculating the right amount of income to be declared in the tax forms to making sure there are no mistakes in other disclosures, it is essential to be very careful when filing tax returns.

According to Indian regulations, an income tax return can be revised before the assessment year ends. This means that any mistakes must be fixed before the income tax officer makes the final assessment. An important point to note is that returns should ideally be corrected using the same mode that they were filed in. For instance, a paper return cannot be revised online or electronically.

It is important to double-check your returns before filing them to make sure there are no mistakes. If at a later stage, you discover that there are indeed some mistakes, it is advisable to rectify those errors as soon as possible. The revised return can be filed using the format recommended by the I-T Department under section 139(5).

Filing a revised return necessarily implies the submission of a new tax return but one which is based on correct information and data this time around. The serial numbers and receipts from the first return should be included in the revised return to allow the I-T Department to compare both.

Recently, the government also relaxed some of the norms in the case of mistakes in tax returns. For instance, people who filed returns before the filing deadline were the only ones allowed to revise them earlier. Still, now the government allows even late-filers to revise their tax returns if they find any mistakes.

However, the time limit to file a revised return was reduced too. Earlier, taxpayers had almost two years from the time of earning income to revise the returns. As per the current rules, they only have one year before the return revising period expires.

The latest tax provisions state that a revised return can only be filed before the expiry of the current assessment year in the case.

In terms of the steps, filing a revised return is mostly similar to filing a fresh return. The form will ask for details such as the receipt number for the first return and the date of filing for the previous return. It is also necessary to verify the revised return for the tax department to consider it.