The Tax Publishers

Income Tax--Return

Interplay between Rectification Section 154 and Section 139(8A)

Srivatsan Ranganathan

The author discusses the likely issue of rectification feature suo moto by assessee under the law becoming an otiose/archaic point due to the recently enacted section 139(8A).

1. Basics on Returns

Under section 139(1) an assessee is expected to file his/her return of income before the due date for filing return. Section 139(3) talks of a loss return wherein in order to claim carry forward of business/capital losses, it warrants filing before the due date as per Section 139(1).

Normal or loss return may be revised upwards/downwards under sec. 139(5) (Revised return), the filing cut off being three month before the end of the relevant assessment year or completion of assessment whichever is earlier. Revised return is to correct normal/loss return and is considered to have been filed within permitted time limits (if filed within its designated time) as it replaces the already filed returns. Carry forward of business/capital losses thus get permitted on revised return. Revised return comes at zero extra cost.

Assessee's who missed filing a normal/loss return may file a return under sec. 139(4) (Belated return), filing cut off being 3 months before the end of the respective assessment year. Belated return as the names signifies is filed after time limits of section 139(1) thus does not entail carry forward/set off of business/capital losses. No revised return is possible for belated return.


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