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Missed The Tax Return Filing Deadline? Here's What To Do


Posted on September 30 2020

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Simply by clearing up the due amount of tax is not acceptable. The Income Tax rules needs a taxpayers to even file their income tax return, even though the tax is due or not. Merely paying the due amount of tax is not sufficient. In addition, the Income-tax rules require a taxpayer to also file return, irrespective of whether tax is due or not. Hence, if the income tax return filing is due and the income is above the exempted limit, it is important for all to file their income tax returns.
 
July 31 is the last date for the taxpayers to file their income tax return for each year. In few occasions, there is an extension of few days for filing their returns like the deadline was extended to 5th August, 2016, for the assessment year 2016-17, which relates to income earned in the financial year 2015-16. With less than 3% of people in India file their income tax, the concept among most of them is that since TDS has happened then filing income return is not mandatory. Many of the taxpayers even take it easy as income tax return for the financial year 2015-16 can be still filed by 31st of March, 2018.
 
Although after repeatedly reminding by the Income Tax Department and extending the due date to 5th August 2016, there can be few taxpayers who have not yet filed their income tax returns.
 
Belated returns can be filed by 

Filing Income Tax Return after the due date is called belated return. It can be filed before the end of the related assessment year or before the completion of the assessment, whichever is earlier. If an individual misses the deadline of August 5, 2016 for filing his income tax return relating to the FY 2015-16 (AY 2016-17), he can still file a belated return by March 31, 2018.
 
Even if one is unable to file their income tax return then he should pay his taxes. The best scenario is to file your income tax return and pay your taxes on time. In case, if someone is unable to file his income tax return due to some reason then he should calculate the taxes and pay it before the scheduled date of filing the Income Tax Return. If all your taxes are paid and you do not attract any penalty even if the income tax return is filed before the 31st March of the following year.
 
 
Penalty for belated filing 

You are not filing your return on time means that you are subject to the penalty and accomplishment provisions under the I-T Act, if taxes are not paid. If you have not filed the return within the due date and you have tax dues to be paid then you required to pay interest on the due amount of tax as well. Penalty is extracted by the tax officer in cases the taxpayer fails to file his income tax return before the due date. Under Section 271F, the tax officer may extract a penalty of Rs 5,000 for failure to file income tax return. The penalty for any delay beyond August 5 is not extracted automatically and is at the sole discretion of the tax officer. In extreme cases, where the taxpayer wilfully fails to file the income tax return in due time then the tax officer may penalise with accomplishment, therefore, such instances are rare."
 
Interest on due amount of tax 

Under Section 234A, if a person has not filed his income tax return and even has tax dues then interest will have to be paid. Such interest is extracted for being delayed for filing the income tax return. In other words, if a taxpayer files the income tax return after the due date then he has to pay an interest of 1 % per month or part of a month. The calculation of the interest begins just the next day from the due date. The interest implements from the date immediately following the due date and ending on the date of filing the income tax return. For the determination of this calculation, part of the month will be considered as the entire month.
 
Lesser time for those who file late returns 

Filing belated returns have been changed beginning of the FY 2015-16. A taxpayer can file his tax return for former two years in any one financial year. Therefore in FY 2016-17, a taxpayer can file his income tax returns for FY 2014-15 and FY 2015-16. So, any return which relates to FY 2013-14 and before is time-barred and under no circumstances can be filed. During Budget 2016, a notable change has been brought to reduce the time period for filing the belated income-tax returns. The filing of belated income tax return has been reduced from two years to one year. Accordingly, from the FY 2016-17, taxpayers are required to file their income tax returns before the end of the related assessment year. Hence, make it a habit to file the I-T returns on time as the window to file belated returns has been reduced. 
 
Lost Opportunities, No time to revise 

If you want to change some figures in your tax return for the FY 2015-16 then you need to file a revised return, provided you can filed it on time. Belated returns cannot be revised. So if you have not taken the credit for a deduction under the chapter VI (Section 80C, etc.) then there is no way the Income Tax Department will allow it now. If the Department points any mistake then you will have to pay a penalty.  
 
Refund without interest 

If you qualify for a tax refund then you will get it only after filing your belated tax return. One loses on a portion of the interest on the tax refund amount by filing a belated tax return. The I-T Department pays interest for every year calculated from 1st April of the assessment year at a rate of one-half per cent. Even the refund process may get delayed. Late filing of income tax return will result in the delay in the refund process.  
 
Unable to set-off losses 

Losses acquired can be carried forward to future assessment years to be set-off against the future gains. Therefore, if you have continued a loss in a financial year, which you urge to carry forward to the following year for the adjustment against the following years positive income, you must make a claim of loss by filing your return before the due date. Loss can be carried forward, except the loss from house property and set off in future years.
 
 
 
 
Conclusion 

As a word of caution, while filing your income tax return be very careful so that you do not have the option of filing a revised return. A person if filing a belated return should be very careful that he do not make any errors as belated returns cannot be revise.
 
Once you have filed your belated return, do not forget to complete the verification process as the acknowledgment ITR-V has to be sent to the Income Tax Department. One will follow the e-verification process to do the same immediately after filing. It can be noted that while there is no special limit for verification electronically, it seems that the time limit of 120 days in the case of sending the ITR- V by post can be available in case of electronic verification also.
 
Tax Assist is a professional income tax consultancy in India for both corporate houses and individual tax payers; the latter comprising Salaried Individuals, Seafarers, Professionals and Non Resident Indians. 
 
With the help of Tax Assist and its team of income tax professionals, taxpayers can minimize their Income Tax liability, maximize their net income and create opportunities to save for current and future needs while maintaining proper accounting standards and income tax returns which are compliant with the Law.

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