Did you miss out on your income tax return filing? As a result, you are overdue on your ITR filing. Don’t worry — you still have the opportunity to do your income tax return filing.

IT returns filed post the final deadline is termed as ‘Belated Return’. But, this opportunity comes with a pinch of salt. After all, you missed the deadline, and allowing you to fill your IT returns would be unfair to those who have filled it on or before the last date. So, this Belated Return comes with its set of difficulties during income tax return filing.

According to the amendments made to the Finance Act, 2017, filing Belated Returns will cost you a considerable sum of money as a penalty for late income tax return filing. So, let us understand the ins and outs of belated income tax returns filing before you miss the next deadline.

What is belated income tax return filing?

If the taxpayer fails or is unable to file the ITR on or before the final date, then, according to the section 139(4) of the Income Tax Act, they can file their ITR under the Belated Returns category.

Is there a deadline for filing Belated ITR?

The individual can file their belated returns either before the tax authorities complete the assessment or before the particular assessment year ends. If the individual is filing belated returns for FY 2018-19, then they should fill up the required ITR forms notified only for that financial year. They should not fill the forms meant for the earlier financial years. The assessment year of a particular financial year is the immediate next financial year.

Therefore, an individual could file belated IT returns for FY 2018-19 by 31st March 2020, which is the last date of this assessment year, 2019-20.

Can an individual revise belated IT return?

Yes, an individual can revise their belated IT returns form. From FY 2016-17 onwards, ITR filed under section 139(4) of the income tax act could be revised. The belated ITR filed for earlier years won’t get revised as the law changed from FY 2016-17.

Therefore, the belated IT returns could be revised before the tax authorities complete the assessment on tax returns or prior to the end of the assessment year (the next financial year).

What are the drawbacks of filing belated It returns?

Firstly, belated IT returns don’t come free. An individual has to incur a penalty for late filing of ITR. Plus, the individual could lose out on certain advantages for not following the income tax returns filing deadline. The drawbacks of belated returns are as follows:

Penalty to be paid

If the individual files a belated IT returns today for FY 2018-19, then they would have to incur a fine of Rs 10,000. But, if the entire annual earnings of the individual are below Rs 5 lakhs, then the penalty will not be more than Rs 1,000/-.

No penalty was charged until assessment years 2017-18 for filing the belated IT returns. The amendments were made to the Union Budget in 2017, after which, the taxpayer is held accountable for late filing of their ITR. Therefore, they have to incur a fine for filing the belated IT returns. The penalty was implemented from the assessment year 2018-19, i.e. for FY 2017-18. Furthermore, the Government of India added the section 234F to the Income Tax Act. According to this new section, the individual will be charged a fine of up to Rs 10,000 for late filing of their income tax returns, i.e. after the last date as specified under section 139(1) of the Income Tax Act.

Loss cannot be carried forward

A loss won’t get carried forward if the individual files for a belated IT returns. Only losses on house property are exempted from these criteria. Losses on income from profession and business, including capital gains, income from different sources, and speculation business will not get carried forward to the next year if the individual files a belated IT returns. Even if the individual has paid the taxes on time and only the filing of returns has got delayed, the losses won’t get carried forward.

The interest levied as per section 234A

If the individual has an unpaid tax payment even after filing for belated IT returns, interest will be levied on the tax liability amount as a penalty. However, if the individual doesn’t have any unpaid liabilities, then they wouldn’t be levied with any interest for belated IT returns filing.

Upon assessing the returns of the individual, if the Income Tax Department raises the demand for further tax liabilities, then the interest will be added as a penalty to the liability amount. Thus, the individual would be asked to pay the pending tax amount along with the penal interest.

The income tax department has made the process of filing income tax returns 2019, easy and hassle-free. All you have to do is log in to the income tax website and fill the relevant ITR form to claim returns on your income tax. So, avoid late fees and always remember to do income tax returns filing on time.

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Shalini L

One of the prime contributors for this blog, Expertise in Staffing and Recruitment, Content Strategist by Profession. A Music Lover & Traveller by Choice.

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