Revised Return of Income Tax can be filed by an assessee any time before the expiry of the Relevant Assessment Year or before the completion of assessment (whichever is earlier).

In simple words, in case you have filed your Income Tax Returns before the due date of filing of Returns u/s 139(1) but later realised that there was any omission or mistake in filing your Income Tax Return, you need not worry as you can always file a Revised Return of Income Tax under section 139(5) stating the correct particulars.

For example: If a Return of Income is filed by the assessee for the Financial Year 2017-18 i.e. Assessment Year 2018-19 and he later discovers some mistake, he can file a Revised Return of Income Tax anytime up to 31st March 2019 or before the completion of Assessment whichever is earlier.

There is no restriction on the no. of times a return can be revised and it can be revised any no. of times provided it is within the prescribed time limits. Thus, in the above case, the Revision can be applied for any number of times provided it is filed before 31st March 2019 or before the completion of assessment.

It should be noted that if you have received the refund of Income Tax, that does not mean that your assessment is complete. You can still revise your income tax return even if you have received Income Tax Refund. For income tax refund, intimation under Section 143(1) is sent which is different from Assessment as mentioned above.

The Revision can be done either in the same ITR Form in which the original return was filed or in a different ITR Form. On filing of this new return under section 139(5), the original return filed under section 139(1) shall be deemed to be withdrawn and substituted by the Revised Return.

Moreover, the govt also does not levy any fees or penalty for filing a revised return.

In case the return is intended to be revised online, the assessee is required to furnish the 15 digit acknowledgement number of the original return.

On receiving this revised return, the Income Tax Department searches for the original return which is retrieved using the 15 digit acknowledgement number. It then replaces the previously filed return with the new revised return.

Revision is allowed only if the mistake was unintentional. The benefit of Section 139 (5) cannot be claimed by a person who has filed fraudulent returns. Section 139 (5) will apply only to cases of ‘omission or wrong statements’ and not to cases of ‘concealment or false statements’. If the omission(s) in the original return is intentional, the assessee will be penalised.

Please Note: For the purpose of this section, the word assessment shall refer to assessment made under Section 143(3) and Section 144. Assessment made under section 143(1) will not be treated as assessment for this purpose as revised return can be filed even after the intimation under section 143(1) has been served.

Judicial Decisions

  1. A Belated Return filed u/s 139(4) can also be revised. Earlier a belated return was not allowed to be revised but now it is allowed to be revised. [Amendment introduced through Finance Act 2016 applicable from Assessment Year 2017-18].
  2. Once, a revised Return is filed, the originally filed return must be taken to have been withdrawn and substituted by the Revised Return [Dhampur Sugar Mills Ltd v CIT (1973) 90 ITR 236 (All)]
  3. A Letter addressed to the assessing officer informing him that a certain items of income not mentioned in the original return be taken to be the income of the assessee would not constitute a proper revised return under section 139(5) [Woman Padmanabh Dande v CIT (1952) 22 ITR 339 (Nag)]

Author’s Opinion: There is no disadvantage of filing a revised return. If you have made a mistake, it is better to rectify the mistake yourself by filing a revised return rather than waiting for the Govt to send a notice.