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Income Tax Notice

The Income Tax Department sends notices for various reasons, such as not filing the income tax returns, any defect while filing the returns, or other instances where the tax department requires additional documents or information. Nothing is frightening or alarming about the notice that is received. However, the taxpayer first has to understand the notice, the nature of the notice, and the requestor’s order in the notice, and then take steps to comply.

FintechFilings offers a comprehensive suite of services to help families and businesses maintain compliance. If an income tax notice is received, contact the Tax Expert at FintechFilings to understand the income tax notice and determine a course of action.

As mentioned above, An income tax department notice is a formal communication issued by the Income Tax Department to a taxpayer. It can relate to various aspects of income tax filing and compliance, such as requests for additional information, clarification of discrepancies in a tax return, audits, tax payment demands, or refund notifications. The income tax department notice specifies the details of what the department requires from the taxpayer, ranging from submitting specific documents to explaining income or deductions claimed.

There are several reasons why you might receive an income tax notice, including:

  • Discrepancies in Tax Returns: If there’s a mismatch between the income declared, deductions claimed, and the data available with the Income Tax Department, you might receive an ITR notice asking for clarification.
  • Non-Filing of Tax Returns: If you haven’t filed your income tax return by the due date, the department may send an ITR notice reminding you to file your return.
  • High-Value Transactions: If you’ve made high-value transactions that don’t match your reported income, the department might send a notice to explain these transactions
  • TDS/TCS Mismatch: You might receive a notice if there’s a discrepancy between the tax deducted at source (TDS) or tax collected at source (TCS) as per your Form 26AS and the income declared in your tax return.
  • Investments/Deposits in Your Name: If you’ve made significant investments or have large deposits in your name that aren’t in line with your reported income, the department may inquire about the source of funds.
  • Property Transactions: Transactions involving property, especially if the value declared is lower than the guideline value determined by the state, can trigger a notice.
  • Scrutiny of Returns: The department randomly selects returns for scrutiny to ensure compliance. You’ll receive an ITR notice for detailed documentation and explanations if your return is chosen.
  • Demand for Tax: If the department calculates that you have unpaid taxes based on your return or any adjustments they’ve made, they’ll issue a notice demanding the due tax.
  • Refund Claims: If you’ve claimed a refund in your tax return, you might receive a notice for verification before the refund is processed.
  • Foreign Assets or Income: Having foreign assets or income might lead to a notice if the department needs more information or if there are discrepancies in the reported details.

Let us understand the various types of notices or intimations issued by the Income Tax Department.

Type of Notice Description
Notice u/s 143(1) – Intimation This is one of the most commonly received income tax notices. The income tax department sends this notice seeking a response to the errors/ incorrect claims/ inconsistencies in a filed income tax return. If an individual wants to revise the return after receiving this notice, it must be done within 15 days. Otherwise, the tax return will be processed after making the necessary adjustments mentioned in the 143(1) tax notice.
Notice u/s 142(1) – Inquiry This ITR notice is addressed to the assessee when the return has already been filed, and further details and documents are required to complete the process. It can also be sent to require additional documents and information from a taxpayer.
Notice u/s 139(1) – Defective Return If the income tax return filed does not contain all necessary information or contains incorrect information, an ITR notice under Section 139 (1) will be issued.
If a tax notice under Section 139(1) is issued, you should rectify the defect in the return within 15 days.
Notice u/s 143(2) – Scrutiny An income tax notice under Section 143(2) is issued if the tax officer is not satisfied with the documents and information submitted by the taxpayer.Taxpayers who receive notice under Section 142(2) have been selected for detailed scrutiny by the Income Tax department and must submit additional information.
Notice u/s 156 – Demand Notice This type of income tax notice is issued by the Income Tax Department when the taxpayer owes any tax, interest, fine, or any other sum. All demand tax notices will stipulate the sum outstanding and due from the taxpayer.
Notice Under Section 245 If the officer believes that tax has not been paid for the previous years and wants to set off the current year’s refund against that demand, a notice u/s 245 can be issued. However, the adjustment of demand and refund could be made only if the individual has been provided proper notice and an opportunity to be heard. The recipient has to respond to the notice 30 days from the day of receipt of the notice. If the individual does not respond within the specified timeline, the assessing officer can consider this as consent and proceed with the assessment. Therefore, it is advisable to respond to the notice at the earliest.
Notice Under Section 148 The officer may have a reason to believe that you have not disclosed your income correctly and, therefore, have paid lower taxes. Or the individual may not have filed his return at all, even if you must have filed it as per law. This is termed as income-escaping assessment. Under these circumstances, the assessing officer can assess or reassess the income according to the case. Before making such an assessment or reassessment, the assessing officer should serve a notice to the assessee asking him to furnish his return of income. The notice issued for this purpose is issued under the provisions of Section 148.

The Income Tax Act of 1961 outlines the procedure for issuing notice, orders, or other communications, which can be delivered in several approved ways.

  • Who Receives the Notice: IT Notices are typically sent directly to the individual concerned. If the notice involves a minor, it goes to their guardian. Mistakes in the recipient’s description can often be corrected unless the mistake affects the taxpayer’s identification.
  • Postal Service: IT Notices can be sent via registered mail, ensuring the letter is properly addressed, prepaid, and posted.
  • Posting on Property: If the recipient refuses to acknowledge receipt or cannot be found, the notice can be posted visibly at their residence or business location.
  • Notices to Groups:
    • IT Notices can be sent to the manager of Hindu Undivided Families (HUFs) or, if the manager has passed away, to all adult members.
    • For partnership firms or associations, it notices can be sent to current or former partners or members.
  • In the case of Closed Businesses:
    • The IT notice is sent to the individual whose income is being assessed.
    • For firms or associations, it goes to any member who was part of the entity when it ceased operations.
    • For companies, notices are sent to the principal officer or director.

When you receive an income tax notice, handling it carefully and systematically is important. Here’s what you should do:

  • Read the Notice Carefully: Understand why the notice was issued. It will detail the specific concern or requirement the Income Tax Department has.
  • Verify Your Details: Ensure the notice is indeed for you by checking your name, PAN number, address, and the assessment year mentioned. This confirms the notice’s authenticity and relevance to your tax affairs.
  • Identify the Issue: Determine what discrepancy or issue in your income tax return prompted the notice. It could be a mismatch in income, high-value transactions, or incomplete disclosures.
  • File Reply on time: Acknowledge and respond to the notice within the given timeframe to avoid penalties or legal actions. The notice will specify the deadline for your response.
  • Provide Complete Information: Support your response with all necessary documents and clarifications to fully address the department’s queries.
  • Check Your Online Account: Confirm that the notice you received is also listed in your account on the Income Tax Department’s e-filing website. This ensures the notice’s legitimacy and helps keep track of your responses and any further communication.
  • Seek Professional Help: If the notice involves complex tax issues or you’re uncertain how to proceed, consider consulting an FintechFilings tax expert.

The documents are required to vary according to the type of income tax notice that is served to the taxpayer. The basic documents needed to reply to an income tax notice would be:

  • The Income Tax Notice copy.
  • Proof of Income source such as (Part B ) of Form 16, Salary receipts, etc.
  • TDS certificates, Form 16 (Part A)
  • Investment Proof if they are applicable.

It is always advisable to have tax experts review the notice. Therefore, after uploading the copy of the Income Tax notice, the experts will examine it and propose the most suitable solution. Based on their advice, you can request the necessary documents. To proceed, please send a copy of the Income Tax Notice and your questions to [email protected].

FintechFilings can assist in responding to Income Tax notices through:

  • Expert Consultation: Providing personalised guidance from experienced Tax Experts.
  • Notice Analysis: Help understand the specifics and requirements of your Income Tax notice.
  • Document Identification: Assist in identifying and compiling the necessary documentation for your response.
  • Response Preparation: Crafting precise and timely responses to address the Income Tax Department’s concerns.
  • Compliance Assurance: Ensuring your response complies with tax laws to minimise further queries or penalties.

Get Expert Help from FintechFilings to File Your Income Tax Notice Reply Now!

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