Many first time tax payers get confused between the terms Financial Year and Assessment Year. There is a significant difference between them and it is not uncommon to mistake one for the other while filling your income tax return form.
What is the difference between an Assessment Year and a Financial Year?
A financial year in India begins on 1st April of the calendar year and ends on 31st March of the subsequent year. The term ‘Assessment Year’ as used by the IT department refers to the year in which the tax payer is being assessed for levy. This means that an Assessment year is simply the next period of one year after a Financial year ends.
If you filed your tax return on time and still receive a notice claiming pending no tax has been paid then it is quite possible that you have made just such a mistake. In either case, it is prudent to check your tax return documents once again.
But the good news is that simple corrections are available to rectify the mistake of putting in an incorrect assessment year.
Scenario 1: When payment has been made by offline Challan-
If you have made an offline payment of tax at a designated bank branch then you can make an application to the bank within 7 days of drawing the receipt to the same branch and have the assessment year corrected.
If it has been more than 7 days since you made the transaction, then you must write to your Assessing Officer to have the corrections made.
Scenario 2: When payment has been made online-
If you have paid your taxes online via e-tax payment on the tin nsdl portal then, again, you need to make an application to the Assessing Officer under whose jurisdiction your PAN number lies.
When will the outstanding status against my tax payment change?
Any payment that you make against your PAN gets reflected in your Form 26AS and that is one way you can ensure that the transaction has been recorded and verified by the Income Tax Department. We suggest that you wait at least a week before you check for updation.
But your task doesn’t end there. After recording the adjustment, you would need to file a rectified return to ensure that the amendments get reflected in your ITR as well. This time, you must mention the correct Assessment year if you do not wish to repeat the process.
It can take up to one month for the rectified return to be processed.
You can manually file a rectified ITR on the income tax login portal. After your IT return is processed for a second time the pending action on your tax ID should disappear. Don’t forget to get the e-verification done soon after the return is filed.
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