Return of income (ITR) can now be filed without pre-payment of self assessment tax and interest

In order to rationalise the time allowed for filing of returns, completion of proceedings, and realization of revenue without undue compliance burden on the taxpayer, and to promote the culture of compliance, The Budget 2016-17 has proposed to amend section 139(9) of the Income Tax Act, 1961 as under:

Section 139(9) deals with defective returns. Explanation to sub-section (9) of the section 139 provides various instances when a return shall deemed to be defective. As per Clause (aa) of the Explanation a return of income shall be regarded as defective unless the self-assessment tax together with interest, if any, payable in accordance with the provisions of section 140A, has been paid on or before the date of furnishing of return.

It is also proposed to omit clause (aa) of the Explanation to sub-section (9) of aforesaid section to provide that a return which is otherwise valid would not be treated defective merely because self-assessment tax and interest payable in accordance with the provisions of section 140A has not been paid on or before the date of furnishing of the return.

Implications: The assessees have been given  big relief in case due to financial hardship or otherwise they are not able to pay self-assessment tax and interest on or before the date of furnishing of the return

The proposed amendment will take effect from 1st day of April, 2017 and will, accordingly apply in relation to assessment year 2017-2018 and subsequent years

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