There has been a change in the way Income Tax Department (ITD) is processing the income tax returns (ITR) for financial year 2016-17.
This has led to Intimation u/s 143(1)(a) being issued to a lot of taxpayers with even the slightest discrepancy in their return.
How returns were processed till 2016:
Only tax details declared in your ITR were matched with the tax details available in your Form 26AS.
How returns are being processed in 2017:
Now all details declared in your ITR w.r.t. Income (gross total income, taxable income, other income like interest income, etc.) / Deductions / TDS, are being matched with the details available in your Form 16 as well. If there is any variance in details given in ITR and Form 26AS / Form 16 / Form 16A, you would get an intimation u/s 143(1)(a) of the Income Tax Act.
What to do when you get such intimation:
You are required to login to your account at ITD website and submit a response online explaining such difference within the stipulated time. In case timely response is not received, ITR will be processed without providing any further opportunities in this regard. This can lead to:
1. Delay in refund processing
2. Demand notice to pay tax, interest and penalty
3. Delay in loan/visa application processing
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