Response to defective return u/s 139(9) : Return filed without a tax audit report

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Hiral Vakil

Income Tax Account
Presumptive Tax
Section 139(9)
Tax Audit Report

Defective return notice is issued to the email id mentioned in filed ITR. The subject of the email is “Fwd: Communication under section 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 by the date of birth in DDMMYYYY format. You can file a response to notice u/s 139(9) from your login on the Income Tax E-filing portal within 15 days.

What does the return file without a tax audit report mean?

Individuals are required to get their books of accounts audited in the following cases:

Any Practising Chartered Accountant can carry out tax audit on books of accounts of a taxpayer. The prepared tax audit report is required to be submitted on the income tax e-filing portal. It also needs to be approved by a taxpayer before filing ITR. In following cases you can receive defective return notice when returns are filed without a tax audit report:


Bharat is a salaried individual who also does F&O Trading. His turnover from trading is 2.5 Crore. Here, he is required to get his books of accounts audited. But while filing ITR-3 for FY 2018-19, he did not get his books of accounts audited. In this case, he would receive defective return notice for return filed without tax audit report.

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How to resolve defects and file a response u/s 139(9) with the IT Department?

There are 3 steps:

  1. Submit a Tax Audit Report prepared by CA,
  2. Prepare a revised return,
  3. File response on Income Tax E-filing Website.

1. Submit a Tax Audit Report prepared by CA

  1. Get your books of accounts audited by a practising CA,
  2. Add the CA from your login on Income Tax E-filing website,
  3. Accept the uploaded tax audit report.

Bharat needs to have his books of accounts audited by taking the service of a CA. After the preparation of the tax audit report, he needs to accept the same from his login. According to the above example,

2. Prepare a revised return

  1. Understand the defect mentioned in the notice,
  2. Keep the submitted tax audit report in hand,
  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. Input the Receipt No. i.e, Original Return’s Acknowledgement Number,
  9. Enter Date of notice i.e, Date of Communication from notice,
  10. Add the Audit Information in PART A-GENERAL,
  11. Enter details in Balance Sheet and P&L schedule as per tax audit report,
  12. Check Computation of tax liability in Part B-TTI,
  13. Save the XML on your PC and proceed to file the response.
Response to defective return - ITR

In the above example, Bharat needs to revise his ITR with Audit Information, Balance Sheet and P&L as per the tax audit report.

3. File response u/s 139(9) 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. Additionally, enter the user ID (PAN), Password, Captcha Code and click on ‘Login’,Response to Defective Return Login

  2. Click on “View Returns/ Forms”

    Hence, select “Income Tax Return” from the dropdownResponse to defective return View Return

  3. Click on “Ack No.”

    Click on the Acknowledgment Number next to the filing date.Response to defective return Ack. No

  4. In download/status section:

    Furthermore, click on “e-File in response to Notice u/s 139(9)”Response to defective return e-file response

  5. Under Response to Notice u/s 139(9)

    Click on “SUBMIT”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 Bharat’s case, he needs to select Yes, select ITR-3 from the dropdown, upload saved XML and click submit.Response to defective return Upload ITR

  7. If you don’t agree with defect select “No”. Add a remark and click on submit.

    For example, you can put remark that the tax audit report is submitted with ITR and click on submit.Response-to-defective-return_Disagree-with-defect


Is it possible to look at a tax audit report before it’s submitted?

Yes, you can download a tax audit report in pdf form before submitting it. Since submission is not complete without your approval.

Can I ask for an extension in a time limit of 15 days for defective notice?

Yes. You can apply for extensions in the time limit to your AO. You can write a letter to your AO for an extension. And AO can grant an extension if he finds your reason genuine.

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