While paying income tax return, I have chosen the wrong assessment year. I would like to correct it. How can I do it? Please help.
This is a very common mistake done by taxpayers, especially when he/she individually tries to make the payment. One needs to be very careful while paying income tax whether online or offline.
One needs to understand the difference between Assessment year and Financial year.
You may have a financial year in mind while calculating the tax you need to pay, but while paying, they will ask you for the assessment year. Assessment year is the year that follows the financial year. For example, if you are paying your taxes for the financial year 2016-17, then your assessment year would be 2017-18 ( and not 2015-16 ).
Coming back to your question, you can definitely make corrections. It depends on the method of payment. How did you pay the Challan? Did you pay through Internet banking? Or did you go the bank physically and paid the tax by filling up a form.
If you went to the bank, and while filling up the form, you made a mistake, then you can go back to the bank and make the necessary changes within 7 days. After 7 days, banks will have no power in changing the assessment year. If you have paid your tax online through internet banking, the 7-day window will not be applicable. Banks will not be able to change the assessment year.
Post 7 days, the only way to get your assessment year corrected is through your Assessing Officer. It is not necessary that your Assessing Officer will be from your Jurisdiction. So, how to know who is your A.O. To do that, visit Income tax official site and enter your PAN, fill the captcha and hit the submit button. It will display your Assessing officer/Jurisdiction.
You may need to visit him personally, submit an application requesting him to change your Assesment year. If you stay in a different state or place, and meeting him personally would not be possible, you can write an application and send it to him through post, or ask your guardian to meet him and explain him the problem.
Even if it does not help, you can change your PAN jurisdiction to your local city, depending on the company you are working. To know the exact jurisdiction, visit the nearest Income tax office and they will help you with the new Jurisdiction address. It may then take another 1-2 months for your PAN to get transferred. Once it gets transferred, visit your (now) local AO and get the assessment year corrected.
The best thing to do is to avoid it in the first place by being very careful while paying Income tax return.