Income Tax

Information concerning Defective Income Tax Return in ITR E-Filing 2.0

Defective Income Tax return

There could be a possibility that you may miss entering some information while filing Income Tax Return, or on some occasions, there could be an error. In such a scenario, your return is termed as a ‘defective return’. The income tax department would issue a notice of defective Income tax return under Section 139(9) to rectify errors. In this article, we shall look at errors that can deem your return to be defective.

Errors that can make your return defective

The following errors can lead to defective income tax return:

  • Incomplete ITR

If your income tax return is incomplete, or if there is an omission of details in the annexure, statements or columns which are mandatory, it can lead to deeming your return to be defective. For example, if while claiming deduction under section 80G, the schedule details are filled incorrectly.

  • Incomplete information on taxes and interests paid

Tax along with interest, if any, is paid before filing the return, and all details pertaining to it are not filled. For instance, BSR Code, Date of challan should be filled correctly.

  • Any mismatch in tax paid and tax payable

If the tax paid does not match with the tax payable in the income tax return or where taxes are not paid in full.

  • Presumptive taxation

If at the time of filing ITR 4, total presumptive income is displayed less than 8 per cent or 6 per cent of gross turnover or receipts as the case may be, then ITR 3 should have been filed. The Gross receipts is not specified in the Profit & Loss account, or the Gross receipt or income under section 44AD is shown more than Rs. 2 Crore in ITR 4. In case you have filed your return under section 44ADA with the gross receipt more than 50 Lakhs without Balance sheet, then notice will be received for filing ITR-3 with audited balance sheet and Profit & Loss Statement.

  • Books of accounts
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If you were required to maintain regular books of account like Balance Sheet & Profit and Loss statement, however, they haven’t been filled in the return while filing it.

  • Unpaid taxes

In case of partial tax payment against liability or if taxes paid but the amount doesn’t match tax payable in the income tax return, then the Income tax department can issue a defective return notice.

  • Incorrect details in Income Tax return

In case ITR filed is incorrect with respect to the turnover/ income limit or not applicable for the reported head of the income as prescribed, then such a return filed would be considered as defective, and notice shall be served.

  • Mismatch in the name

If the name specified on the income tax return mismatches with the name mentioned on the PAN card. Such error can also lead to defective ITR.

What can you do in case of a defective income tax return?

In case you have been sent a notice of defective return under section 139(9), then you must rectify your return by revising it within 15 days period from the date of receipt of notice by Income Tax Department.

You may also apply for extension of the deadline of filing a revised return by writing an application to Assessing Officer requesting an extension of the deadline of filing a revised return.

Generally, it is observed that even a taxpayer rectifies the defect after the expiry of 15 days period, but before the assessment is made, the Assessing Officer can condone the delay and treat the return as a valid income tax return.

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If you do not rectify it within the prescribed period, then your return will be considered to be invalid and treated as if you haven’t filed the return.


If you want to stay protected against any notice by the Income Tax Department, ensure that you provide accurate information while filing return. In case a notice relating to defective Income Tax Return is served, still responding to such notice is not time consuming anymore thanks to the advancement in technology. In case of any doubt regarding filing ITR or such other related doubts, consider consulting a professional in this regard.

Read our Article: Income Tax Rules Changes from April 1 2021: Here’s all you need to know

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