An Assessing Officer can call upon the assessee to rectify a defective return filed by him. This is provided in section 139(9) of the Income Tax Act. The Income Tax Department gives notice for a defective return under section 139(9) of the Act to the assessee.
The return of income shall be regarded as defective unless the following conditions are satisfied. If the conditions are lacking, it makes the return defective.
1. The Return should be accompanied by some statements: The return of income is accompanied by the following:
a. Statement under section 44AB: A statement showing computation of the tax payable on the basis of the return along with the report of audit received under Section 44AB of the Act.
b. Proof of tax deducted: A statement showing the proof of the tax, if any, which has been deducted at source and the advance tax, if any, which has been paid.However from 1st June, 2002 in cases where the return is not accompanied by proof of the tax which has been deducted at source, the return of income shall not be considered as defective if the assessee was not supplied with the certificate for tax deducted at source. Such certificate should be produced within 2 years from the end of the year in which the income is assessed.
c. Proof of compulsory deposit: The proof of the amount of compulsory deposit, if any, under the compulsory deposit scheme.
d. Copies of different accounts: In case of regular maintenance of books of accounts by an assessee, copies of trading, profit and loss account and balance sheet. In the case of proprietary business, his personal accounts; in the case of firm or association of persons, body of individuals, the personal account of the concerned partners or members.
e. Auditor’s report: Where the accounts of an assessee are audited, copies of the audited profit and loss account and balance sheet along with the copy of the auditor’s report.
2. Discretion of Assessing Officer: Where the assessing officer is of the opinion that the return of income of the assessee is a defective return, he has a discretion to inform the assessee about the defect and give him an opportunity to rectify the defect within fifteen days from the date of intimation or within any extended time as he may allow. If the defect is not rectified within the stipulated period, then it shall be considered that the assessee has not furnished the return. In case of an invalid return, the provisions of the Income Tax Act shall apply to him accordingly.
If the assessee rectifies the return after the time specified but before the assessment is made, the assessing officer may condone the delay and treat the return as a valid one.