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Why do you get Income Tax Notice: Reasons and Remedies

Rashmi , Last updated: 24 March 2023  
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Income Tax Notices can leave taxpayers in a state of panic. While receiving such a notice, it is essential to remember that it is not always a bad thing. Notices are typically issued by the Income Tax Department (ITD) for several reasons, and some can be resolved relatively easily. In this article, we will discuss the common reasons why you may receive an Income Tax notice in India and the remedies to avoid or address them.

1. Non-filing or Late Filing of ITR

One of the most common reasons for receiving an Income Tax notice in India is non-filing or late filing of the ITR. As per the Income Tax Act, every individual with taxable income is required to file their ITR within the due date, failing which they may receive a notice from the Income Tax Department. Additionally, if you have not filed your ITR for a particular year, the Income Tax Department can issue a notice even after several years.

Why do you get Income Tax Notice: Reasons and Remedies

Remedy

The best way to avoid receiving a notice for non-filing or late filing of ITR is to file your ITR on time. If you have missed the deadline, file your ITR as soon as possible to avoid any penalties or legal consequences.

2. Discrepancies in Income and TDS Details

Another common reason for receiving an Income Tax notice in India is discrepancies in income and TDS details. If the income tax authorities find any discrepancy between the income declared in the ITR and the income reflected in other documents, such as Form 26AS or Form 16, they may issue a notice to the taxpayer. Similarly, if the TDS claimed by the taxpayer does not match with the TDS details mentioned in Form 26AS, the taxpayer may receive a notice.

Remedy

To avoid receiving a notice for discrepancies in income and TDS details, ensure that all income and TDS details are correctly reported in your ITR and match with the details mentioned in Form 26AS and Form 16/16A. In case of any discrepancy, file a revised return or respond to the notice promptly.

3. Non-disclosure of Income or Investments

Non-disclosure of income or investments is another reason why taxpayers in India may receive an Income Tax notice. If the income tax authorities suspect that the taxpayer has not disclosed all their income or investments, they may issue a notice to the taxpayer. Non-disclosure of income or investments can also result in prosecution under the Income Tax Act.

Remedy

To avoid receiving a notice for non-disclosure of income or investments, ensure that all income and investments are correctly reported in your ITR. In case you have missed reporting any income or investments, file a revised return or respond to the notice promptly.

4. Tax Dues or Refund Adjustments

Tax dues or refund adjustments are also common reasons why taxpayers in India may receive an Income Tax notice. If the taxpayer has any outstanding tax dues or penalties, the Income Tax Department may issue a notice to recover the dues. Similarly, if the taxpayer has claimed a refund, the Income Tax Department may adjust the refund against any outstanding dues and issue a notice to the taxpayer.

 

Remedy

To avoid receiving a notice for tax dues or refund adjustments, ensure that all taxes and penalties are paid on time. Also, if you have claimed a refund, ensure that there are no outstanding dues before claiming the refund.

5. High-Value Transactions

When you make high-value transactions, the ITD may issue a notice to ensure that you have paid the appropriate taxes on these transactions. High-value transactions include the purchase or sale of property, investments in stocks, mutual funds, etc. Taxpayers must report these transactions in their Income Tax Returns (ITRs) and pay any applicable taxes on them. If the ITD finds any discrepancies or non-reporting of these transactions, it may issue a notice.

Remedy

To remedy this situation, taxpayers must ensure that they report all their high-value transactions in their ITRs accurately. Additionally, taxpayers should keep all relevant documents, such as property purchase or sale agreements, stock trading statements, etc., in case they need to provide evidence to the ITD. It is essential to be transparent and accurate while reporting these transactions, as the ITD has access to all the relevant information and can quickly detect any discrepancies.

6. Foreign Assets and investment

In recent years, the Indian government has become increasingly vigilant about ensuring that its citizens pay taxes on foreign assets and income. If you have foreign assets or income, it is essential to disclose them in your Income Tax Return (ITR) and pay the appropriate taxes on them. Failure to do so can result in a notice from the ITD. For example, if you have a bank account in a foreign country, you must disclose it in your ITR, even if you did not earn any interest on the account. Similarly, if you own property or investments in a foreign country, you must disclose them and pay taxes on any income earned from them.

Remedy

To remedy this situation, you should consult with a qualified tax professional who specializes in international tax laws. They can help you navigate complex tax laws and ensure that you comply with all the necessary regulations. Additionally, they can assist you in filing any necessary forms & schedules in ITR, such as the Foreign Asset and Income Reporting (FAIR) schedule. It is also essential to keep accurate records of all your foreign assets and income, including bank statements, investment documents, and property deeds. This documentation can be used to support your tax returns and ensure that you are paying the appropriate taxes on your foreign assets and income.

7. Not declaring investments made in the name of your spouse

It is a common mistake that taxpayers make while filing their Income Tax Returns. However, it can lead to a notice from the Income Tax Department, as the income from such investments is taxable in your hands. for example. Suppose you invest a significant amount of money in a fixed deposit in your spouse's name, and the interest earned on this deposit is not declared while filing your Income Tax Returns. In this case, the Income Tax Department can issue a notice to you for non-disclosure of this income.

Remedy

To avoid such notices, it is crucial to declare all the investments made in the name of your spouse and pay the appropriate taxes on the income earned from them. If you have made such investments in the past, you can rectify the situation by filing a revised Income Tax Return and declaring the income earned from these investments. This will help you avoid any penalties or legal proceedings in the future.

8. Disallowance or defects in ITR

Disallowance or defects in Income Tax Returns refer to situations where the ITD finds errors or discrepancies in the tax returns filed by taxpayers. In such cases, the ITD may issue a notice to the taxpayer asking them to rectify the errors and provide additional information to support their tax returns. There can be several reasons for disallowance or defects in ITRs, such as failure to disclose income from a particular source, mismatch in TDS claimed and Form 26AS, non-reporting of foreign income, incorrect claiming of deductions, etc. For instance, if a taxpayer claims a deduction for a particular investment but fails to provide the necessary proof or supporting documentation, the ITD may disallow the deduction and issue a notice to the taxpayer.

 

Remedy

To avoid receiving income tax notices, it is important to ensure that all necessary declarations and disclosures are made while filing your Income Tax Return. You should also regularly check the Income Tax portal to avoid penalties for delayed or non-submission of replies to the authorities. Additionally, certain forms should be submitted along with the Income Tax Return in specific cases, such as Form 67 for foreign income, Form 10E for arrears, and Profit & Loss and Balance sheet if net profit from business/profession exceeds 1.2 lakhs, to avoid the Income Tax return being treated as defective. By being aware of these requirements and adhering to them, you can avoid receiving notices and ensure a smooth Income Tax Return filing process.

Conclusion

Receiving an Income Tax notice can be a cause of concern for any taxpayer. However, by being aware of the common reasons why you may receive an Income Tax notice and taking the necessary steps to avoid such situations, you can ensure that your tax compliance is in order. It is important to file your returns on time, report all your income and investments correctly, and respond to any notices or communication from the Income Tax Department promptly. By following these basic rules, you can avoid the stress and hassle of dealing with Income Tax notices and ensure a smooth and hassle-free tax filing experience.

The author is a Chartered Accountant with 2 decades of experience into Accounting, Taxation, Auditing, Risk & Compliance, Credit Controls, Due diligence. Currently the author is the founder and managing partner at RRL Global services.

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Rashmi
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Category Income Tax   Report

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