Posted by Tim Thompson CPA PLLC

A Detailed Guide to Variations of Section 139

A Detailed Guide to Variations of Section 139

The Income Tax Service has classified the income of Indian citizens into five different categories, depending on their source of income. These categories mainly include homeownership, wages, capital gains, business, and other sources. Anyone receiving an income is required to pay income taxes to the government. That said, one of the sections of the Income Tax Act of 1961 is section 139. It deals mainly with the various statements that an entity or person can make. Therefore, in this publication, we understand this specific section of the Income Tax Act and know more about its regulations and rules. 

The subsections provided for in section 139 of the Income Tax Act

Therefore, section 139 of the Income Tax Act has been divided into several vital paragraphs, such as:

Article 139 (1): Voluntary and Mandatory Returns

In this section, the early filing of the tax return is mandatory in the following scenarios:

  • If the person has a total income above the exemption limit

  • If a public, foreign, national or private company has its head office or carries out its activities in India

  • If it is a business, including LLP (limited liability company) or LLP (limited liability company)

  • If the taxpayer is an Indian resident who has assets located abroad or has the power to sign an account located abroad

  • If the taxpayer belongs to the Association of Persons (AOP), Hindu Undivided Families (HUF), or the Body of Individuals (BOI). Speaking of voluntary scenarios, in specific situations, entities and individuals do not have to record the statement. In this case, the tax return is considered voluntary but remains valid.

Article 139(3): Filing Income Tax in Case of a Loss

This subsection 139 of the Income Tax Act refers to situations where a taxpayer, business, or enterprise suffered a loss in the previous year. For him, the declaration of income will not be compulsory. ITR loss is only compulsory in certain circumstances, such as:

  • If the loss appears under the heading "capital gains" or under the heading "profits and gains of business and profession," and the taxpayer wishes to transfer the loss; however, this can only be done if the ITR is filed on the due date.

  • If the loss has been filed for restitution by subsection 142 (1), in addition to the loss under "House Property," it cannot be transferred.

  • If the loss is compensated by other income of a category for the same year, it can be compensated even if the declaration is archived after expiration.

  • If the loss occurs under the heading "house or residential building," the loss can still be declared, even if the ITR is filed after the deadline.

Remember that losses from previous years can only be reported if losses have been assessed and performance has been presented promptly.

Subsection 139 (4): Belated Income Tax Return

As an entity or an individual, each taxpayer is advised to file the ITR before the final date, per section 139 (4) of the Income Tax Act. What if the return was still late? In this situation, it is possible to record late returns from previous years until the date of adjustment of the current evaluation year's maturity.

However, if a taxpayer does not file the tax return again, a fine of Rs. 5000 ($68.00 / US) will be applied in section 271F.

Section 129 (5): Revised Returns.

In most scenarios, errors and mistakes have become fairly common, even if the ITR is stored in the timeline. In such a case, the taxpayer is required to amend these errors in subsection 139 (5).

In the evaluation year provided or before the completion, depending on which event occurs first, the taxpayer can submit the change request. Fortunately, check the limits whenever this happens within the set time. Revisions can be performed in the same way by sending another.

Also, it should be noted that only unintentional errors can be examined. Failure to do so will result in a penalty for misrepresentation.

Article 139 (4A): Charity and Religion Trust

Some taxpayers may receive their income from assets held under a type of legal obligation, which may be in whole or in part for charitable or religious purposes. It can also be income from voluntary contributions. In one of these cases, the ITR should only be presented in section 139(4A) if the total gross income is greater than the allowable amount.

Article 139(4B): Political Parties

Article 139(4B) is specific to political parties that can file a declaration if their total income, mainly voluntary contributions, is greater than the authorized tax exemption limit.

Section 139 (4C) and 139 (4D): Exemption in accordance with section 10

According to Section 10, certain specific institutions may require certain advantages. Section 139(4C) and section 139(4D) are used for these institutions' tax returns.

Section 139(4C) refers to institutions for which it is mandatory to file a tax return if the authorized limit exceeds the maximum exemption limit. These include:

  • Associations or institutions covered by Section 10(23A)

  • Associations working in scientific research.

  • Hospitals, Universities, Medical Institutes, and Educational Establishments.

  • Institutions covered by Section 10(23B)

  • New Agencies

On the other hand, section 139(4D) does not require an income tax return for universities, colleges, and institutions, nor for the transfer of losses.

Section 139 (9): Defective Returns

Under subsection 139(9), a tax return can be considered defective if the documents are not available. Therefore, it will be the taxpayer's responsibility to correct this error as soon as a notification is issued in the form of a letter. A period of 15 days is generally granted to remedy this problem and find the missing documents. However, on request, the period may be extended, provided that a valid reason is provided.


Since section 139 deals with a variety of declarations, registering ITR varies considerably between subsections. Therefore, if you are linked to any of the subsections mentioned above, be sure to keep track of the expiration date so as not to lose the fulfillment of your responsibility to the nation.

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