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How to tackle the Notice u/s 139-9 Defective Return



How to tackle the Notice u/s 139-9 Defective Return.

Notice u/s 139(9)

Nowadays it has been noticing that the IT department is sending Notices for defective returns u/s 139(9) to so many assesses. In this article we would guide you on the necessary steps to be taken if you have got a Notice u/s 139(9). All returns whether filed electronically or manually are now paperless returns. No document is required to be attached along with the return form and therefore section 139(9) is no more relevant. In this context, Section 139C has been introduced which is discussed as under-

Paperless Returns:-

It is mandatory for the companies and individuals, HUFs and partnership firms subject to tax audit under section 44AB to file return of income electronically i.e., E-return. E-return is Paperless Return and it is not accompanied by TDS certificates, balance sheet, profit and loss account, tax audit report and other documents referred to in section 139(9). Therefore, the assessee filing E-return is exempted from the filing of documents referred to in section 139(9) and other provisions of the Income Tax Act. Even the assessees filing paper return are exempted from the condition of filing the documents etc. referred to in section 139(9) and other provisions of Income Tax Act. All returns whether electronic returns or physical returns are paperless returns.

However the section 139(9) is relevant where return is filed by religious/ charitable trust since they are required to annex all the documents referred to in this section. This section is also applicable where Return of Income is filed under section 148 or under section 153A which are also to be supported by all the documents referred to in this section.

Getting Notice u/s 139(9) and its consequences:-

If the Assessing Officer considers that the return is defective, then he may intimate the defect to the assessee by sending a Notice u/s 139(9) and gives him an opportunity to rectify the defect within 15 days from the date of such intimation. He can also extend this time period on an application made by the assessee. If the assessee does not rectify the defect within the said period of 15 days or the extended time period, then the return shall be treated as void-ab-initio which means invalid and it shall be deemed that the assessee has not filed the return of income.

Provided that where the assessee rectifies the defect after the said period of 15 days or the extended time period but before the completion of assessment, then the Assessing Officer may condone the delay and treat the return as a valid return.

Why I get Notice u/s 139(9)? What are the common errors that I need to rectify?

A return shall be considered as a defective return unless it is accompanied by all the following documents:

(i)  A return in the prescribed form with all annexure, columns and statements duly filled in.

(ii)  A statement showing computation of tax payable.

(iii) Proofs of tax, in any, claimed to have been deducted or collected at source and the advance tax and self-assessment tax, if any, claimed to have been paid.

Provided that where return is not accompanied by proof of tax, if any, claimed to have been deducted or collected at source, the return of income shall not be regarded as defective if-

(a)  a certificate of tax deducted or collected was not furnished to the person furnishing his return of income; and

(b)  Such certificate is provided within a period of two years specified u/s 155(14) i.e., within 2 years from the end of relevant Assessment Year.

(iv) Report of audit u/s 44AB or where the report has been furnished prior to the furnishing of the return, a copy of such report together with the proof of furnishing of the report.

(v)  In a case where regular books of account are maintained by the assessee, then copies of:-

(a)  Manufacturing Account, Trading Account, profit and loss Account or Income & Expenditure Account and Balance Sheet.

(b) In case of a partnership firm, the personal accounts of the partners.

(c)  In case of AOP/BOI, the personal accounts of the members.

(d) In case of a proprietary concern, the personal account of the proprietor.

(e) In case of a partner of a firm, his personal account in the firm.

(f) In case of a member of AOP/BOI, his personal account in the AOP/BOI.

(vi)  Where the accounts of the assessee have been audited, then copies of audited profit & loss account, balance sheet and the auditor’s report.

(vii) In a case where cost-audit under section 233B of the Companies Act has been conducted, then the copy of such cost audit report.

(viii) Where regular books of account are not maintained by the assessee, then a statement showing the amount of turnover, gross receipts, gross profit, expenses and net profit of the business or profession carried on by the assessee and the basis on which such amounts have been computed and also disclosing the amount of total Sundry Debtors, Sundry Creditors, Stock-in-hand, Cash and bank balances at the end of the year.

About: 

Alok Patnia founded Taxmantra.com, an expert in tax advisory & compliance. He is a Chartered Accountant having prior exposure with Ernst & Young & KPMG.

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