206. (1) The prescribed person18 in the case of every office of Government, the principal officer in the case of every company, the prescribed person18 in the case of every local authority or other public body or association, every private employer and every other person responsible for deducting tax before the 1st day of April, 2005 under the foregoing provisions of this Chapter shall, within the prescribed time after the end of each financial year, prepare and deliver or cause to be delivered to the prescribed income-tax authority19 or such other authority or agency as may be prescribed, such returns in such form and verified in such manner and setting forth such particulars as may be prescribed:
Provided that the Board may, if it considers necessary or expedient so to do, frame a scheme for the purposes of filing such returns with such other authority or agency referred to in this sub-section.
(2) Without prejudice to the provisions of sub-section (1), the person responsible for deducting tax under the foregoing provisions of this Chapter other than the prescribed person in the case of every office of the Government and the principal officer in the case of every company may, at his option, deliver or cause to be delivered such return to the prescribed income-tax authority in accordance with such scheme as may be specified by the Board in this behalf, by notification in the Official Gazette, and subject to such conditions as may be specified therein, on or before the prescribed time after the end of each financial year, on a floppy, diskette, magnetic cartridge tape, CD-ROM or any other computer readable media (hereinafter referred to as the computer media) and in the manner as may be specified in that scheme :
Provided that the prescribed person in the case of every office of Government and the principal officer in the case of every company responsible for deducting tax under the foregoing provisions of this Chapter shall, deliver or cause to be delivered, within the prescribed time after the end of each financial year, such returns on computer media under the said scheme.
(3) Notwithstanding anything contained in any other law for the time being in force, a return filed on computer media shall be deemed to be a return for the purposes of this section and the rules made thereunder and shall be admissible in any proceedings thereunder, without further proof of production of the original, as evidence of any contents of the original or of any fact stated therein.
(4) Where the Assessing Officer considers that the return delivered or caused to be delivered under sub-section (2) is defective, he may intimate the defect to the person responsible for deducting tax or the principal officer in the case of a company, as the case may be, and give him an opportunity of rectifying the defect within a period of fifteen days from the date of such intimation or within such further period which, on an application made in this behalf, the Assessing Officer may, in his discretion, allow; and if the defect is not rectified within the said period of fifteen days or, as the case may be, the further period so allowed, then, notwithstanding anything contained in any other provision of this Act, such return shall be treated as an invalid return and the provisions of this Act shall apply as if such person had failed to deliver the return.
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