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If you haven’t filed your income tax return till due date (31 Aug 2019 for FY 2018-2019 or  AY 2019-20) all is not lost you can still file your income tax return with fine or penalty, you can do so till 30 Jun 2020 (extended beyond 30 Mar 2020, the last day of the assessment year 2019-20, due to CoronaVirus). If you miss this deadline as well, then you will not be able to file ITR unless you receive a notice from the tax department to do so. This article explains Filing Income Tax Return after the deadline, the last date for filing Income Tax Returns, Penalty in file ITR late

Procedure for Filing Income Rax Return after the deadline

There is no difference in the filing procedure before or after the deadline. The steps to file belated ITR are the same as how ITR is filed before the deadline. Calculation of income, the tax remains the same, but one has to pay a late fee, extra tax.

    • Choose the assessment year for which you are filing the belated return. For e.g., if you are filing the return for FY 2018-19 select 2019-20 as assessment year.
    • Select ITR form applicable to you and fill in the same manner. The correct form depends on your sources of income.
    • For ITR1/ITR4 you can file online or you can Download the utility related to Assessment Year for which you are filing from income tax website. Our article How to fill ITR1 for Income from Salary,House Property,TDS explains the process with pictures.
    • You also cannot carry forward any losses. Those who file by the due date can carry forward their capital losses up to eight financial years and adjust them against any future capital gains.  For example, if someone suffered capital losses in 2013-14, these can be adjusted against gains made till 2021-22. However, this benefit is not available if the return is filed after the due date
    • You need to file your income tax return under Section 139(4). Filing ITR under Section 139(1) is only meant for taxpayers who have adhered to the deadline. Our article Fill Excel ITR1 Form : Income, TDS, Advance Tax explains the process of filing an income tax return in detail with pictures.
    • File belated ITR under sections 139(4) after due date

      File belated ITR under sections 139(4) after due date

  • Penalty for filing an income tax return after the due date under section 234F is available from FY 2017-18. The government has introduced a late fee of Rs 5000 if filed between last date and 31 Dec. And Rs 10,000 from 1 Jan to 31 Mar. If an individual’s gross total income does not exceed the basic exemption limit, then he/she will not be liable to pay late filing fees if he/she files belated ITR.
  •  If there are any taxes due which is unpaid, penal interest at 1% per month will be charged under section 234A, 234B and section 234C.  If there is no tax due, you won’t be charged any extra amount.
  • After the final submission, verify your ITR. Your ITR wouldn’t be considered valid until it is verified by you. Or send the ITR-V.
  • The processing of your ITR will begin after the IT department receives your verified ITR. You will be notified about the status of your ITR via SMS on your registered mobile number and e-mail.

Why people miss filing their Income Tax Returns

In some cases, it is the unavoidable circumstances and in some cases, it is sheer laziness. Many think that My employer has already deducted tax on my salary income hence I don’t need to file my income tax returns!

Other than being your legal obligation Filing of income tax returns is important to have a three-year record of income tax returns for getting a loan from a bank,  for getting Visa. It is proof of your financial life. Our article If You don’t file the Income Tax Return on time explains it in detail.

Financial Penalty on late filing of ITR

If an individual’s gross total income does not exceed the basic exemption limit, then he/she will not be liable to pay late filing fees if he/she files belated ITR.

If you have some tax due, apart from the late filing fee, you will also have to pay a monthly interest of 1% on your tax due till the month of payment.

Section 234F was introduced in the Income Tax Act from the AY 2018-19 which made income tax return filing mandatory.  Before this was the sole discretion of the assessing officer to levy penalty if the individual failed to file his/her tax return before the end of the relevant assessment year.

For small taxpayers whose total income does not exceed Rs 5 lakh, the maximum late fee amount will not exceed Rs 1,000 irrespective of when it is filed, i.e., before March 31.

The late filing fee structure is as follows:

Date of filing ITR FY 2018-19/Ay 2019-20 Amount (Rs)
After August 31 but on or before December 31

5000
Between January 1 and Jun 30 10,000

Interest while filing ITR under section 234A, 234B,234C

There are certain types of interests that a taxpayer has to pay for non-payment of taxes.  The image and table below show the reason for the penalty and the section. Our article Section 234A,234B,234C : Interest Penalty for not paying Expected IncomeTax on Time explains it in detail.

  • Delay in the filing of Income Tax Return under section 234A
  • Delayed Payment of Advanced Tax under section 234B
  • Delayed Payment of Advanced Tax Instalment under section 234C
Fine for not paying due Income tax on time under section 234A,234B,234C,234F

Fine for not paying due Income tax on time under section 234A,234B,234C,234F

Calculation of interest under section 234A

Interest penalty for delay in filing an income tax return with tax due if any tax is due comes under Section 234A.  As per the Income Tax Act, if you have any outstanding tax payable at the end of a Financial Year (FY), you must pay the balance tax amount and file your income tax returns by last date(July 31st) of the corresponding Assessment Year (AY). This is called Self Assessment Tax. Our article  Self Assessment Tax, Pay Tax using Challan 280, Updating ITR explains it in detail.

If you file your returns after the due date, then under Section 234A you are liable to pay 1% simple interest per month on the balance tax payable, applicable from the month of August of the AY till the month in which return is filed. Note Section 234A penalty is not applicable if you don’t have any balance tax payable

So, for example, if you have an outstanding tax payable of Rs. 8,000 and you did not file ITR by the due date of 31 Jul.

  • you file your tax returns on 15 Oct, you will have to pay an interest penalty of 1% per month x 3 months on the balance tax amount of Rs. 8,000, i.e. Rs. 240.
  • if you file your returns on 5 Jan, you will have to pay an interest penalty of 1% per month x 7 months on the balance tax amount of Rs. 8,000, i.e. Rs. 560.

But If you have outstanding tax payable more than Rs 10,000 in addition to interest under section 234A for filing late you would also have to pay interest under section 234B & 234C. This also applies if you file your income before the due date.

Calculation of interest under section 234B

At least 90% of the total tax payable must be paid by the end of the Financial Year (FY), i.e. March 31st. So if you have balance tax payable at the end of the FY, and the amount is more than 10% of your total tax liability, then you will have to pay interest under Section 234B , a simple interest penalty of 1% per month on the balance tax amount, applicable from April 1 of the Assessment Year (AY). For example, if you have an outstanding tax liability of Rs. 12,000 at the end of an FY and pay this amount on July of the AY, you will have to pay a penalty of 4% (1% p.m. x 4 months i.e .01 * 12000), i.e. Rs. 480.

NOTE: Section 234B penalty is not applicable if the outstanding tax liability is less than 10% of the total tax payable for the relevant FY.

Interest penalty for delay in periodic payment of tax under Section 234C

Section 234C mandates periodic payment of tax during the year, called as Advance Tax so that at least 90% of the total tax due is paid by the end of the Financial Year. As per this section:

  • 15% of the total tax amount must be paid by June 15.
  • 30% of the total tax amount must be paid by September 15th of the FY.
    • If the tax paid by you by 15th September of the FY is less than 30% of total tax payable for the entire year, then under Section 234C you are liable to pay simple interest of 1% per month for 3 months (i.e. total 3%) on the shortfall below 30%.
  • 60% by December 15th.  If the tax paid by you by 15th December is less than 60% of total tax payable, again you need to pay 1% simple interest per month for 3 months on shortfall below 60%.
  • 100% by March 15th of the FY.  If the tax paid by you by 15th March of FY is less than 100% of total tax payable, the simple interest of 1% on outstanding amount needs to be paid.

So if your total tax liability for a given FY is Rs. 1,00,000, then at least Rs. 30,000 must be deposited by September 15th, Rs. 60,000 by December 15th and entire amount, i.e. Rs. 1,00,000, by March 15th. If you don’t then you need to pay penalty under section 234C. Our article Section 234A,234B,234C : Interest Penalty for not paying Expected IncomeTax on Time explains it in detail.

Last date for Filing Income Tax Returns

The last date for filing returns for an individual is usually 31 Jul of the assessment year but many times it gets extended. The last date for filing returns for FY 2018-19 which is AY 2019-20 was 31 Aug 2019. (Earlier one could have filed ITR for last 2 years

If one missed the last date for filing returns, one can still file returns till 31st Mar of the Assessment year. So one can still file for returns for FY 2018-19 which is AY 2019-20 till 31st Mar 2020.

If you have received a notice from the I-T Department asking you to file your returns which go beyond 2 financial years, then you should prepare your return and submit it to the Income Tax Office in your ward. Usually, old returns are filed as a response to an income tax notice.

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You need to understand that filing IT returns is not just a legal necessity but also a must exercise for your big-ticket loan applications such as home loans or getting Visa. It is in your best interest to file your Income Tax Returns timely. It not only makes you a law-abiding citizen but also saves you from being penalised by the government. By when do you file an income tax return? Is the process of filing income tax return stressful?

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