Defective return – When your Income Tax Return Will be treated as Defective

After filling your income tax return with the IT department its time for the IT department to go through the ITR and pass a order accordingly. During this process if the assessing officer of IT department finds your ITR as defective then he can consider your ITR as defective and accordingly issue a notice to comply.

The assessing officer may in this case give the assessee an opportunity to rectify such defect within a period of 15 days from the date of such intimation. If you have filled your return online and given your correct email ID then this intimation can be received by you through your mail ID. If such period of 15 days is not sufficient then the period can be extended by the assessing officer on an application by the assessee.

Defect not rectified within the given time

Defective income tax returnIf the defect is not rectified by you within the period of 15 days or such further extended period then the assessing officer shall treat the ITR as an invalid ITR and it will be treated as if you have not filled the return.

If you have rectified the defect in your ITR but after the due date and before the assessment is made then the assessing office may condone the delay and treat the ITR as a valid return.

When your income tax return is treated as defective?

If you have not filled your ITR correctly then there are chances that the ITR will be treated as defective or invalid.

If the correct income tax together with the interest payable has not been paid on or before the date of furnishing of the ITR then such return will be treated as a defective ITR.

The assessing officer can ask to change any defect in the ITR and you can rectify the same within the time allowed.

When the defects pointed out by the assessing officer is not rectified by the assessee then the ITR will be treated as an invalid return. If your ITR is treated as a invalid return then all the provisions for non filling your ITR will be applicable to you.

If you are getting any intimation for a defect in your ITR then first you should make sure that the defect pointed out is a genuine defect. If it’s a genuine defect then you need to change it within the time allowed or you can ask for some more time to make changes to it. In case you find the defect pointed out is not a genuine defect then take up this matter with the assessing officer.

Editorial Staff at Yourfinancebook is a team of finance professionals. The team has more than a decade experience in taxation and personal finance.

16 thoughts on “Defective return – When your Income Tax Return Will be treated as Defective”

  1. Hi,
    I have submitted my ITR return and e verified successfully. However in the online I found there was a defective return in the pending list. Upon on discussion with ITR officials, I was told it was a technical glitch and no need to respond in case if we dont get any mail or letter correspondance.

    However recently on Oct 30th’16 I got a mail from ITR that i need to respond to the defective return. Somehow I missed the mail and got a post to my home on Nov 10th. i called the ITR officials again to confirm the same and I was told they sent me the mail Oct 10th which I missed it. Now it been more than 15 days, I could respond back to them.

    Please suggest how can I proceed further. Will there be any extension for it.

    Please help me to resolve my issue.


  2. I have submitted return but forgot to mention the challan details of the self assessed Tax paid. What is the next step to correct this.

  3. Defective Notice 139(9)…now what to do?….it was generated in the year 2014….i not no communication or tax consultant might have received it but did not pass on….i came to know when i learnt abt incom tax site and logged into it…it shows under actionns needed.

  4. Dear Team,

    I have received the defective IT return file but i am not able to upload the correct one.

    Please help to upload correctly.

  5. HI,
    My Return for ay 13-14 declared as defective return now I had paid the taxable amount but unable to file the return what can I rectify the same.
    Pls help

  6. Hello,

    My return filled had error that “Tax determined as Payable in the return filled by you has not been paid”. I paid the tax but forget to mention the details in IRTV. And now my return is invalid.

    What should be the next step?

    1. for which assessment year? if it is invalid then you need to file it again before the last date..

  7. My efiling show defective .I did not received any notice but now. How can I rectified it.

  8. Hi YFB,
    My mother has received an email with subject “Response to Defective Notice issued” asking her to pay the balance and file a corrected return under section 139(9). However, she has not received any corrected return so far. Who does she contact for this?

  9. In how many does does the Income Tax Deptt intimate that the Return is defective ???Is there any time period for intimation??

    1. Hi Karan,

      They will intimate you before your assessment is over.
      They will give you 15 days time to reply back which can again be increased on a request to the assessing officer. tks

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