CHAPTER XIV

PROCEDURE FOR ASSESSMENT1

Return of income.

2139.    3[(1) Every person4,—

          (a)  being a company 5[or a firm]; or

          (b)  being a person other than a company 5[or a firm], if his total income or the total income of any other person in respect of which he is assessable under this Act during the previous year exceeded the maximum amount which is not chargeable to income-tax,

shall, on or before the due date, furnish a return of his income or the income of such other person during the previous year, in the prescribed form6 and verified in the prescribed manner and setting forth such other particulars as may be prescribed :

Provided that a person referred to in clause (b), who is not required to furnish a return under this sub-section and residing in such area as may be specified by the Board in this behalf by notification7 in the Official Gazette, and who7a[during the previous year incurs an expenditure of fifty thousand rupees or more towards consumption of electricity or] at any time during the previous year fulfils any one of the following conditions, namely :—

           (i)  is in occupation of an immovable property exceeding a specified floor area, whether by way of ownership, tenancy or otherwise, as may be specified8 by the Board in this behalf; or

          (ii)  is the owner or the lessee of a motor vehicle other than a two-wheeled motor vehicle, whether having any detachable side car having extra wheel attached to such two-wheeled motor vehicle or not; or

       9[(iii)  is a subscriber to a 10[cellular telephone not being a wireless in local loop telephone]; or]

(iv)  has incurred expenditure for himself or any other person on travel to any foreign country; or

  (v)  is the holder of a credit card11, not being an “add-on” card, issued by any bank or institution; or

(vi)  is a member of a club where entrance fee charged is twenty-five thousand rupees or more,

shall furnish a return, of his income during the previous year, on or before the due date in the prescribed form12-13 and verified in the prescribed manner and setting forth such other particulars as may be prescribed :

Provided further that the Central Government may, by notification14 in the Official Gazette, specify the class or classes of persons to whom the provisions of the first proviso shall not apply:

Provided also that every company 15[or a firm] shall furnish on or before the due date the return in respect of its income or loss in every previous year.

The following fourth proviso shall be inserted after the third proviso to sub-section (1) of section 139 by the Finance Act, 2005, w.e.f. 1-4-2006 :

Provided also that every person, being an individual or a Hindu undivided family or an association of persons or a body of individuals, whether incorporated or not, or an artificial juridical person, if his total income or the total income of any other person in respect of which he is assessable under this Act during the previous year, without giving effect to the provisions of section 10A or section 10B or section 10BA or Chapter VI-A exceeded the maximum amount which is not chargeable to income-tax, shall, on or before the due date, furnish a return of his income or the income of such other person during the previous year, in the prescribed form and verified in the prescribed manner and setting forth such other particulars as may be prescribed.

Explanation 1.—For the purposes of this sub-section, the expression “motor vehicle” shall have the meaning assigned to it in clause (28) of section 216 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 (59 of 1988).

Explanation 2.—In this sub-section, “due date” means,—

          (a)  where the assessee is—

       (i)  a company; or

      (ii)  a person (other than a company) whose accounts are required to be audited under this Act or under any other law for the time being in force; or

     (iii)  a working partner of a firm whose accounts are required to be audited under this Act or under any other law for the time being in force,

                the 31st day of October of the assessment year;

  (b)  in the case of a person other than a company, referred to in the first proviso to this sub-section, the 31st day of October of the assessment year;

  (c)  in the case of any other assessee, the 31st day of July of the assessment year.

Explanation 3.—For the purposes of this sub-section, the expression “travel to any foreign country” does not include travel to the neighbouring countries or to such places of pilgrimage as the Board may specify in this behalf by notification17 in the Official Gazette.]

18[(1A) Without prejudice to the provisions of sub-section (1), any person, being an individual who is in receipt of income chargeable under the head “Salaries” may, at his option, furnish a return of his income for any previous year to his employer, in accordance with such scheme as may be specified by the Board in this behalf, by notification in the Official Gazette19, and subject to such conditions as may be specified therein, and such employer shall furnish all returns of income received by him on or before the due date, in such form (including on a floppy, diskette, magnetic cartridge tape, CD-ROM or any other computer readable media) and  manner as may be specified in that scheme, and in such case, any employee who has filed a return of his income to his employer shall be deemed to have furnished a return of income under sub-section (1), and the provisions of this Act shall apply accordingly.]

20[***]]

21[(1B) Without prejudice to the provisions of sub-section (1), any person, being a company or being a person other than a company, required to furnish a return of income under sub-section (1), may, at his option, on or before the due date, furnish a return of his income for any previous year in accordance with such scheme as may be specified by the Board in this behalf by notification in the Official Gazette22 and subject to such conditions as may be specified therein, in such form (including on a floppy, diskette, magnetic cartridge tape, CD-ROM or any other computer readable media) and in the manner as may be specified in that scheme, and in such case, the return of income furnished under such scheme shall be deemed to be a return furnished under sub-section (1), and the provisions of this Act shall apply accordingly.]

23[***]

(3) If any person who 24[***] has sustained a loss in any previous year under the head “Profits and gains of business or profession” or under the head “Capital gains” and claims that the loss or any part thereof should be carried forward under sub-section (1) of section 72, or sub-section (2) of section 73, or sub-section (1) 25[or sub-section (3)] of section 74, 26[or sub-section (3) of section 74A], he may furnish, within the time allowed under sub-section (1) 27[***], a return of loss in the prescribed form28 and verified in the prescribed manner and containing such other particulars as may be prescribed, and all the provisions of this Act shall apply as if it were a return under sub-section (1).

29[(4) Any person who has not furnished a return within the time allowed30 to him under sub-section (1), or within the time allowed under a notice issued under sub-section (1) of section 142, may furnish the return for any previous year at any time30 before the expiry of one year from the end of the relevant assessment year or before the completion of the assessment, whichever is earlier :

Provided that where the return relates to a previous year relevant to the assessment year commencing on the 1st day of April, 1988, or any earlier assessment year, the reference to one year aforesaid shall be construed as a reference to two years from the end of the relevant assessment year.]

31[32[(4A) 33Every person in receipt of income derived from property held under trust or other legal obligation wholly for charitable or religious purposes or in part only for such purposes, or of income being voluntary contributions referred to in sub-clause (iia) of clause (24) of section 2, shall, if the total income in respect of which he is assessable as a representative assessee (the total income for this purpose being computed under this Act without giving effect to the provisions of sections 11 and 12) exceeds the maximum amount which is not chargeable to income-tax, furnish a return of such income of the previous year in the prescribed form and verified in the prescribed manner and setting forth such other particulars as may be prescribed and all the provisions of this Act shall, so far as may be, apply as if it were a return required to be furnished under sub-section (1).]]

34[(4B) 35The chief executive officer (whether such chief executive officer is known as Secretary or by any other designation) of every political party shall, if the total income in respect of which the political party is assessable (the total income for this purpose being computed under this Act without giving effect to the provisions of section 13A) exceeds the maximum amount which is not chargeable to income-tax, furnish a return of such income of the previous year in the prescribed form and verified in the prescribed manner and setting forth such other particulars as may be prescribed and all the provisions of this Act, shall, so far as may be, apply as if it were a return required to be furnished under sub-section (1).]

36[(4C) Every—

          (a) scientific research association referred to in clause (21) of section 10;

          (b) news agency referred to in clause (22B) of section 10;

          (c) association or institution referred to in clause (23A) of section 10;

          (d) institution referred to in clause (23B) of section 10;

          (e) fund or institution referred to in sub-clause (iv) or trust or institution referred to in sub-clause (v) or any university or other educational institution referred to in sub-clause (vi) or any hospital or other medical institution referred to in sub-clause (via)  of clause (23C) of section 10;

          (f) trade union referred to in sub-clause (a) or association referred to in sub-clause (b) of clause (24) of section 10,

shall, if the total income in respect of which such scientific research association, news agency, association or institution, fund or trust or university or other educational institution or any hospital or other medical institution or trade union is assessable, without giving effect to the provisions of section 10, exceeds the maximum amount which is not chargeable to income-tax, furnish a return of such income of the previous year in the prescribed form37 and verified in the prescribed manner and setting forth such other particulars as may be prescribed and all the provisions of this Act shall, so far as may be, apply as if it were a return required to be furnished under sub-section (1).]

38[(5) If any person, having furnished a return under sub-section (1), or in pursuance of a notice issued under sub-section (1) of section 142, discovers any omission or any wrong statement therein, he may furnish a revised return at any time before the expiry of one year from the end of the relevant assessment year or before the completion of the assessment, whichever is earlier :

Provided that where the return relates to the previous year relevant to the assessment year commencing on the 1st day of April, 1988, or any earlier assessment year, the reference to one year aforesaid shall be construed as a reference to two years from the end of the relevant assessment year.]

39[(6) The prescribed form of the returns referred to 40[in sub-sections (1) and (3) of this section, and in clause (i) of sub-section (1) of section 142] shall, in such cases as may be prescribed, require the assessee to furnish the particulars of income exempt from tax, assets of the prescribed nature 41[, value and belonging to him, his bank account and credit card held by him], expenditure exceeding the prescribed limits incurred by him under prescribed heads and such other outgoings as may be prescribed.

(6A) Without prejudice to the provisions of sub-section (6), the prescribed form of the returns referred to 42[in 43[***] this section, and in clause (i) of sub-section (1) of section 142] shall, in the case of an assessee engaged in any business or profession, also require him to furnish 44[the report of any audit 45[referred to in section 44AB, or, where the report has been furnished prior to the furnishing of the return, a copy of such report together with proof of furnishing the report], the] particulars of the location and style of the principal place where he carries on the business or profession and all the branches thereof, the names and addresses of his partners, if any, in such business or profession and, if he is a member of an association or body of individuals, the names of the other members of the association or the body of individuals and the extent of the share of the assessee and the shares of all such partners or the members, as the case may be, in the profits of the business or profession and any branches thereof.]

(7) 46[***]

47[48(8)(a) 49[Where the return under sub-section (1) or sub-section (2) or sub-section (4) for an assessment year is furnished after the specified date, or is not furnished, then [whether or not the 50[Assessing] Officer has extended the date for furnishing the return under sub-section (1) or sub-section (2)], the assessee shall be liable to pay simple interest at 51[fifteen] per cent per annum, reckoned from the day immediately following the specified date to the date of the furnishing of the return or, where no return has been furnished, the date of completion of the assessment under section 144, on the amount of the tax payable on the total income as determined on regular assessment, as reduced by the advance tax, if any, paid, and any tax deducted at source :

Provided that the 52[Assessing] Officer may, in such cases and under such circumstances as may be prescribed53, reduce or waive the interest payable by any assessee under this sub-section.

Explanation 1.—For the purposes of this sub-section, “specified date”, in relation to a return for an assessment year, means,—

          (a)  in the case of every assessee whose total income, or the total income of any person in respect of which he is assessable under this Act, includes any income from business or profession, the date of the expiry of four months from the end of the previous year or where there is more than one previous year, from the end of the previous year which expired last before the commencement of the assessment year or the 30th day of June of the assessment year, whichever is later;

          (b)  in the case of every other assessee, the 30th day of June of the assessment year.]

54[Explanation 2.—Where, in relation to an assessment year, an assessment is made for the first time under section 147, the assessment so made shall be regarded as a regular assessment for the purposes of this sub-section.]

55[(b) Where as a result of an order under section 147 or section 154 or section 155 or section 250 or section 254 or section 260 or section 262 or section 263 or section 264 56[or an order of the Settlement Commission under sub-section (4) of section 245D], the amount of tax on which interest was payable under this sub-section has been increased or reduced, as the case may be, the interest shall be increased or reduced accordingly, and—

           (i)  in a case where the interest is increased, the 57[Assessing] Officer shall serve on the assessee, a notice of demand in the prescribed form specifying the sum payable, and such notice of demand shall be deemed to be a notice under section 156 and the provisions of this Act shall apply accordingly;

          (ii)  in a case where the interest is reduced, the excess interest paid, if any, shall be refunded.]]

58[(c) The provisions of this sub-section shall apply in respect of the assessment for the assessment year commencing on the 1st day of April, 1988, or any earlier assessment year, and references therein to the other provisions of this Act shall be construed as references to the said provisions as they were applicable to the relevant assessment year.]

59[(9) Where the 60 [Assessing] Officer considers that the return of income furnished by the assessee is defective, he may intimate the defect to the assessee and give him an opportunity to rectify the defect within a period of fifteen days from the date of such intimation or within such further period which, on an application made in this behalf, the 60[Assessing] Officer may, in his discretion, allow; and if the defect is not rectified within the said period of fifteen days or, as the case may be, the further period so allowed, then, notwithstanding anything contained in any other provision of this Act, the return shall be treated as an invalid return and the provisions of this Act shall apply as if the assessee had failed to furnish the return :

Provided that where the assessee rectifies the defect after the expiry of the said period of fifteen days or the further period allowed, but before the assessment is made, the 60[Assessing] Officer may condone the delay and treat the return as a valid return.

Explanation.—For the purposes of this sub-section, a return of income shall be regarded as defective unless all the following conditions are fulfilled, namely :—

          (a)  the annexures, statements and columns in the return of income relating to computation of income chargeable under each head of income, computation of gross total income and total income have been duly filled in;

          (b)  the return is accompanied by a statement showing the computation of the tax payable on the basis of the return;

    61[(bb)  the return is accompanied by the report of the audit referred to in section 44AB, or, where the report has been furnished prior to the furnishing of the return, by a copy of such report together with proof of furnishing the report;]

          (c)  the return is accompanied by proof of—

       (i)  the tax, if any, claimed to have been deducted at source 62[before the 1st day of April, 63[2006]] and the advance tax and tax on self-assessment, if any, claimed to have been paid :

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

      (a) a certificate for tax deducted was not furnished under section 203 to the person furnishing his return of income;

      (b) such certificate is produced within a period of two years specified under sub-section (14) of section 155;]

      (ii)  the amount of compulsory deposit, if any, claimed to have been made  under  the  Compulsory  Deposit  Scheme  (Income-tax Payers) Act, 1974 (38 of 1974);

          (d)  where regular books of account are maintained by the assessee, the return is accompanied by copies of—

       (i)  manufacturing account, trading account, profit and loss account or, as the case may be, income and expenditure account or any other similar account and balance sheet;

      (ii)  in the case of a proprietary business or profession, the personal account of the proprietor; in the case of a firm, association of persons or body of individuals, personal accounts of the partners or members; and in the case of a partner or member of a firm, association of persons or body of individuals, also his personal account in the firm, association of persons or body of individuals;

          (e)  where the accounts of the assessee have been audited, the return is accompanied by copies of the audited profit and loss account and balance sheet and the auditor’s report 65[and, where an audit of cost accounts of the assessee has been conducted, under section 233B66  of the Companies Act, 1956 (1 of 1956), also the report under that section];

          (f)  where regular books of account are not maintained by the assessee, the return is accompanied by a statement indicating the amounts of turnover or, as the case may be, gross receipts, gross profit, expenses and net profit of the business or profession and the basis on which such amounts have been computed, and also disclosing the amounts of total sundry debtors, sundry creditors, stock-in-trade and cash balance as at the end of the previous year.]

(10) 67[Omitted by the Finance (No. 2) Act, 1991, w.e.f. 1-4-1991.]