Response to defective return u/s 139(9) : Return filed with tax dues

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Hiral Vakil

Defective Return
Form 26AS
Income Tax Account
Section 139(9)

Defective return notice is issued to the email id mentioned in filed ITR. The subject of the email is “Fwd: Communication u/s 139(9) for PAN XXXXX5789X for the A.Y.20XX-XX”. The notice is password protected. The password is your PAN in lower case followed up by the date of birth in DDMMYYYY format. You can file a response to defective notice u/s 139(9) from your login on Income Tax E-filing portal within 15 days.

What does return filed with tax dues mean?

Defective return notice u/s 139(9) is issued when there is a discrepancy between total taxes paid as per Form 26AS and total taxes payable in filed ITR. Following are the common reasons for tax dues:

You can know the defect from ITR and Form 26AS. Let’s take an example: Vijay is a salaried individual with freelancing income. His employer deducted his TDS on salary, However, no TDS was deducted on his freelancing income. While filing ITR-4 for FY 2018-19, he offered all his incomes but forgot to make payment of self-assessment tax before filing ITR. In this case, he would receive defective return notice for return filed with tax dues. If you are still confused then you can go for following Plan from Quicko:

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How to resolve defect and file a response with IT Department?

There are 2 steps:

  1. Prepare a revised return,
  2. File response on Income Tax E-filing Website.

1. Prepare a revised return:

  1. Understand the total TDS deducted on income,
  2. Calculate total taxes payable on income,
  3. Download the latest ITR Filing Utility from Income Tax E-filing portal,
  4. Go to PART-A-GENERAL and fill the basic details OR Download the filed XML from your account,
  5. Go to Filing Status section under PART-A-GENERAL,
  6. Select 139(9) under Filed in response to notice u/s,
  7. Enter Date of Filing Original Return from notice,
  8. Enter Receipt No. i.e, Original Return’s Acknowledgement Number,
  9. Enter Date of notice i.e, Date of Communication from notice,
  10. Enter all the incomes, TDS as per form 26AS, Deductions and Exemptions,
  11. Click on Re-Calculate,
  12. Check Computation of total income in Part B – TI,
  13. Check Computation of tax liability in Part B-TTI,
  14. Make a payment of Amount Payable in Part B-TTI,
  15. Add details of challan paid under IT Schedule, Amount Payable should be Zero,
  16. Save the XML on your PC and proceed to file the response.
Response to defective return u/s 139(9) - ITR

In the above example, Vijay can make self-assessment tax payment on his freelancing income, add challan details and file revised return along with a response to the IT Department.

2. File response on Income Tax E-filing Website:

Following are the steps to file response:

  1. Go to Income Tax e-filing website

    Login to your account on the income tax e-filing website. Enter user ID (PAN), Password, Captcha Code and click on ‘Login’,Response to Defective Return u/s 139(9) Login

  2. Click on “View Returns/ Forms”

    Select “Income Tax Return” from the dropdown,Response to defective return View Return

  3. Click on “Ack No.”

    Next to date of filingResponse to defective return Ack. No

  4. Click on “e-File in response to Notice u/s 139(9)”

    Under downloads/status descriptionResponse to defective return e-file response

  5. Click on “Submit”

    Under Response to Notice u/s 139(9)Response to defective return submit

  6. If you agree with the defect then select “Yes”

    Select ITR Form from the dropdown list, upload the saved XML and click on submit. In Vijay’s case, he needs to select Yes, Select ITR-4, upload the saved XML and submit it.Response to defective return Upload ITR

  7. If you don’t agree with the defect select “No”.

    Add a remark and click on submit. For example, you can put remark that there are no tax dues pending in filed ITR and click on submit.Response-to-defective-return_Disagree-with-defect


How to resolve error code 38 in a defective return notice?

Error code 38 means ITR is filed with tax dues. Here, you need to pay taxes first and file revise ITR along with a response.

How to respond to defective return notice when TDS was deducted but not paid to the IT Department by an employer?

In this case, you can complain about the same with the IT Department. And as per CBDT circular, in this cases, AO should not harass the employee and it should be recovered from the employer. Or you can ask for a refund of tax deducted by your employer. And then make a payment of self-assessment tax while filing revised ITR.

How to deal with defective return notice when self-assessment taxes were paid but not reflected in Form 26AS while filing original ITR?

First of all, make sure that challan details through which taxes were paid are mentioned correctly in ITR. If yes then no need to file revised ITR. Simply select No while filing response to defective return notice.

What should I do if the time limit has expired and I wish to file a response?

You can file the revised return from your login on Income Tax E-filing Website. File this return u/s 139(5) and not under 139(9) with details of the original return. For FY 2018-19 (AY 2019-20) the due date to file revise return is 31/03/2019.

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