How to File Income Tax Return After Due Date

Did you fail to file your Income Tax return within due date? If yes, you don’t need to worry. Just read on to know how you can still file a Belated Income Tax Return after due date.

Belated Return: Income Tax Return after due date U/S 139(4)

The due dates for filing return of income under the Income Tax Act for the FY 2016-17 are as follows:

For Companies30th September, 2017
For Persons other than Companies who are liable to get their accounts audited under any Law30th September, 2017
For Persons other than above31st July, 2017 (Extended till 5th August, 2017)

 

If you are reading this post then I am pretty sure that you missed that deadline mentioned above and now you need to file a belated return as I mentioned above.

Time limit for filing Belated Return under Income Tax Act

Earlier till FY 2015-16 & AY 2016-17, the belated return could be filed anytime before the expiry of one year from the end of the relevant assessment year. However from the FY 2016-17 & AY 2017-18 onwards, the belated return has to be filed within the expiry of the relevant assessment year.

Let us understand this with the help of the table below:

Financial YearRelevant Assessment YearLast Date for filing belated returnRemarks
2015-162016-17Last date of the AY i.e 31st March, 2017 + 1 year = 31st March, 2018Same rule applicable for all FY prior to 2015-16
2016-172017-18Last Date of the AY i.e 31st March, 2018Change brought by Budget 2016. Time limit reduced by 1 year

Note:

FY= Financial year (Year in which the income is earned). Earlier FY was called Previous Year.

AY= Assessment Year (Year in which the income earned in the FY is assessed for payment of tax). AY immediately follows the FY

In case an assessment has been initiated against you by the Assessing Officer, the due date for filing the belated return would be earlier of the following dates:

  1. The due date as mentioned in the table above;
  2. The date of completion of assessment.

How to file a belated return?

Filing belated return is exactly the same as filing an original return before due date. However, you must select the option “After due date 139(4)” in the ‘Return filed under section’ field as shown below

Select belated return in ITR

However please be aware of the correct ITR Form you need to file your return before starting the return filing process.

Penalty or Interest for late filing of Income Tax return

Before filing the belated tax return, you must assess the amount of income tax that you need to pay for the relevant FY. After the assessment has been done by you there may be two cases:

Case 1: The tax has already been paid before due date to file original return either by you or by someone else on your behalf (e.g TDS)

If all the taxes due have already been paid to the account of the government by the due date and only the return was not filed within the due date then there will be no penalty or interest for late filing of income tax return. You can proceed with filing your belated income tax return.

Case 2: Total or Partial amount of tax was left to be paid on the due date

If there is an amount of tax which is due to be paid by you after due date then there will be a penal interest of 1% per month or part thereof till the date on which taxes are actually paid on the amount paid after due date.

You will have to first pay your tax due along with the interest to the credit of the government via proper tax challan and then only you can start filing you belated tax return.

However, apart from the interest mentioned above, the Assessing Officer has the power to impose a penalty of Rs. 5000 for late filing of the return. This penalty depends on the judgement of the AO and is rarely imposed.

Budget 2017 Update:

It has been proposed in the Budget 2017 by Finance Minister Shri Arun Jaitley to impose a late filing penalty for not filing returns within due date.

A penalty of Rs 5,000 will be imposed on filing returns after due date but before 31st December of the relevant assessment year.  Moreover an additional penalty of Rs 5,000 will be imposed if the return is filed after 31st December of the relevant assessment year thus totalling the penalty to Rs 10,000.

However, if the income of the taxpayer is upto Rs 5 lakhs then the late filing penalty will be limited to Rs 1,000 only.

No Carry Forward of Losses allowed

In case of a belated return, you will not be allowed to carry forward your losses in the current year to set off with income of future years. However an exception has been granted to the Loss under the head House Property.

Belated Returns can be Revised

Earlier it was not possible to revise returns filed after the due date. But from FY 2016-17 onwards, you can revise the belated return filed by you.

Also note that you can claim a refund of excess tax paid or TDS deducted by filing a belated return.

Conclusion

As you saw above, there are no major setbacks for filing income tax returns after due date. However the government is taking harsh steps to encourage people to file their returns within the due date. New penalty of upto Rs 10000/- has been introduced for late filing of returns from AY 2018-19 onwards.

We encourage you to pay your taxes and file your returns on time so that you can have a stress free life. If you enjoyed reading the post then please consider sharing it with your friends and relatives who might find it helpful.

The Commerce Tutor

The Commerce Tutor is a Finance Blog where we post concepts relating to finance so that our readers are informed and empowered.

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