Response to Defective Return u/s 139(9) : Mismatch in TDS and Income Details

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Hiral Vakil

Defective Return
Income Tax Account
IT Notice
Section 139(9)
TDS Sections

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 AWXXX5789X for the A.Y.20XX-XX”. The notice is password protected. The password is your PAN in lower case followed by the date of birth in DDMMYYYY format. You can file a response to notice u/s 139(9) from your login on Income Tax E-filing portal within 15 days.

What does mismatch in TDS and income details mean?

Defective Return notice u/s 139(9) is issued when there is a discrepancy between Income details filed in ITR & TDS deducted as per Form 26AS. Following are the common reasons for mismatch notice if TDS is deducted under section:

To know the exact defect look at the TDS Section mentioned in your Form 26AS and Income Details in ITR.


Ajay earned income from freelancing during FY 2018-19. Freelancing income is considered as Professional Income and TDS is deducted u/s 194J of TDS. However, he reported the income under the head Salary. Here he would receive defective return notice with a mismatch in TDS and Income Details.

Form 26AS with TDS Section 194J


ITR filed with Salary Income

Response to defective return ITR Salary Income
Response to defective return ITR Salary Income
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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 TDS Section under which tax is deducted,
  2. Understand correct Income Head as per TDS deduction,
  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. Select Date of Filing Original Return from notice,
  8. Enter Receipt No. i.e, Original Return’s Acknowledgement Number,
  9. Add Date of notice i.e, Date of Communication from notice,
  10. Enter TDS Details correctly and enter income under correct income head,
  11. 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, Ajay needs to prepare revise return and add his freelancing income under the Income Head Business & Professional Income (Section 44ADA).

2. File response on Income Tax E-filing Website

  1. Visit 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 filing dateResponse to defective return Ack. No

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

    Under downloads/status description.Response 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 defect then select “Yes”. Select ITR Form from the dropdown list, upload the saved XML and click on submit.

    In Ajay’s case, he needs to select “Yes”, select ITR-4 from the dropdown list and upload the saved XML on PC and Submit.Response to defective return Upload ITR

  7. If you don’t agree with defect then select “No”. Also, you need to provide the remark.

    For example, you can say that there is no mismatch of TDS in filed ITR and click on submit.Response-to-defective-return_Disagree-with-defect


How to resolve error code 97 in a defective return notice?

Error code 97 means, ITR is filed with mismatch in TDS and Income Details. Here, you need to revise the ITR and add income details under the correct schedule.

What are the consequences of not filing a response to notice?

If you don’t file a response within 15 days then your return can be treated as an Invalid Return. Invalid return means no return has been filed for that year. And you can end up with penalties for failure to file return in time. However, you can file a revised return afterwards to save yourself from a penalty.

Do I need to e-verify the ITR filed in response to defective return notice?

No. There is no need to e-verify the ITR filed in response to defective return notice.

How can I download an acknowledgement of ITR filed in response to defective return notice?

You will receive an acknowledgement to your email mentioned in return. You can also download the same from your account on the income tax e-filing portal.

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