It is mandatory for every taxpayer to communicate the details of his income to the Income-tax Department. These details are to be furnished in the prescribed form known as return of income.
The provisions relating to filing of return of income depend upon the status of the taxpayer. The position in this regard is given below:
A company has to file its return of income compulsorily, irrespective of its income being profit or loss.
Partnership firms :
A partnership firm (including Limited Liability Partnership) has to file its return of income compulsorily, irrespective of its income being profit or loss.
Individual/HUF/AOP/BOI/Artificial Judicial Person :
Every individual/HUF/AOP/BOI/artificial judicial person has to file the return of income if his total income (including income of any other person in respect of which he is assessable) without giving effect to the provisions of section 10(38), 10A, 10B or 10BA or Chapter VIA (i.e., deduction under section 80C to 80U), exceeds the maximum amount which is not chargeable to tax i.e. exceeds the exemption limit.
Charitable or religious trusts :
Every person in receipt of income derived from property held under charitable or religious trusts/legal obligations or in receipt of income being voluntary contributions referred to in section 2(24)(iia), has to file the return of income if its total income without giving effect to the provisions of sections 11 and 12 exceeds the maximum amount not chargeable to income-tax.
Political parties :
The Chief Executive Officer of every political party has to file the return of income of the party if the total income of the party without giving effect to the provisions of section 13A exceeds the maximum amount not chargeable to income-tax.
Certain associations :
Following entities are liable to file the return of income if their total income without giving effect to the provisions of section 10 exceeds the maximum amount not chargeable to tax:
Certain University, college or other institution :
Every university, college or other institution referred to in clause (ii) and clause (iii) of section 35(1), which is not required to furnish return of income or loss under any other provision of the Act, shall furnish the return of income every year, irrespective of income (or) loss.
Business Trust :
Every business trust, which is not required to furnish return of income or loss under any other provision of the Act, shall furnish the return of income every year, irrespective of income (or) loss.
Investment fund referred to in section 115UB :
Every investment fund referred to in section 115UB, which is not required to furnish return of income or loss under any other provisions, shall furnish the return of income in respect of its income or loss every year irrespective of income (or) loss.
Persons holding assets located outside India :
A person, being a resident india (other than not ordinarily resident), who is not required to furnish a return under any of the above and who at any time during the previous year :
shall furnish, on or before the due date, a return in respect of his income or loss for the previous year in such form and verified in such manner and setting forth such other particulars as may be prescribed. However, above discussed provision will not apply to an individual, being a beneficiary of any asset (including any financial interest in any entity) located outside India where, income, if any, arising from such asset is includible in the income of the person referred to in (a) above.
"Beneficial owner" in respect of an asset means an individual who has provided, directly or indirectly, consideration for the asset for the immediate or future benefit, direct or indirect, of himself or any other person.
"Beneficiary" in respect of an asset means an individual who derives benefit from the asset during the previous year and the consideration for such asset has been provided by any person other than such beneficiary.
|Status of the taxpayer||Due date|
|Any company other than a company who is required to furnish a report in Form No. 3CEB under section 92E (i.e. other than covered in 2 below)||September 30 of the assessment year|
|Any person (may be corporate/noncorporate) who is required to furnish a report in Form No. 3CEB under section 92E||November 30 of the assessment year|
|Any person (other than a company) whose accounts are to be audited under the Income-tax Law or under any other law||September 30 of the assessment year|
|A working partner of a firm whose accounts are required to be audited under this Act or under any other law.||September 30 of the assessment year|
|Any other assessee||July 31 of the assessment year|
If the person fails to file the return of income within the time-limit prescribed in this regard, then as per section 139(4) he can file a belated return. A belated return can be filed within one year from the end of the relevant assessment year or before completion of assessment, whichever is earlier.
However, w.e.f. 01-04-2017, belated income-tax return for the Assessment Year 2017-18 and onwards can be filed at any time before the end of the relevant assessment year or before the completion of the assessment, whichever is earlier.
Delay in filing the return of income may attract certain adverse consequences. Following are the consequences of delay in filing the return of income:
Sometimes the taxpayer may omit to include certain formation in the return or may commit any mistake at the time of filing the return of income. In such case any unintentional mistake or error or omission in the return of income filed by the taxpayer can be corrected by filing a revised return.
A revised return can be filed within a period of one year from the end of the relevant assessment year or before completion of assessment, whichever is earlier. However, w.e.f. 01-04-2017, income-tax return for the Assessment Year 2017-18 and onwards can be revised at any time before the end of the relevant assessment year or before the completion of the assessment, whichever is earlier. It should be noted that only a return filed under section 139(1) or belated return filed under section 139(4) can be revised.
A return of income filed pursuant to notice under section 142(1) of Act cannot be revised under section 139(5).
Section 139(9) provides the list of situations in which the return of income filed by the taxpayer can be treated as defective return. If the Assessing Officer finds the return of income to be defective under section 139(9), then he may intimate such defect to the taxpayer and may give an opportunity to him to rectify such defect.
The taxpayer shall rectify such defect in the return of income within a period of 15 days of such intimation or within such further period as the Assessing Officer may allow.
The taxpayer shall rectify such defect in the return of income within a period of 15 days of such intimation or within such further period as the Assessing Officer may allow. (as the case may be), then, notwithstanding anything contained in any other provision of the Act, the return shall be treated as an invalid return and the provisions of the Act shall apply as if the taxpayer had failed to furnish the return.
A return of income shall be regarded as defective, unless all the following conditions are fulfilled:
Note : As per the current norms prescribed by CBDT vide Income-tax Rules, 1962 for filing return of income, no documents shall be attached along with the Return of Income. Hence, documents like computation of income, balance sheet and accounts, audit report, TDS certificate, tax payment challan, proof of investment, etc., are not to be attached along with the return of income. No penalty will be levied for non-submission of these documents along with the return of income and the return will not be treated as defective due to non-attachment of aforesaid documents, statements, etc.
As per section 140, the return of income is to be verified by:
It should be noted that in a case referred to in (ii) or (iv) above, the person verifying the return holds a valid power of attorney from the individual to do so, which shall be attached to the return
It should be noted that where the company is not resident india, the return may be verified by a person who holds a valid power of attorney from such company to do so, which shall be attached to the return. Following points should be noted in this regard :
For the purpose of enabling any specified class or classes of persons (*) in preparing and furnishing returns of income, the Board has notified the Tax Return Preparers Scheme providing that such persons may furnish their returns of income through a Tax Return Preparer (TRP)* authorised to act as such under the Scheme
In other words, a specified person**can file his return of income through Government authorised return prepares i.e. TRPs.
* "Tax Return Preparer" means any individual, [not being a person referred to in section 288(2)(ii)/(iii)/(iv) or an employee of the "specified class or classes of persons"], who has been authorised to act as a Tax Return Preparer under the Scheme framed in this behalf.
** "Specified class or classes of persons" means any person, other than a company or a person, whose accounts are required to be audited under section 44AB or under any other law for the time being in force, who is required to furnish a return of income under the Act.
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In case of any doubt / clarification, please visit the official website of Income Tax Department.
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