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Time Limit and Consequences of Delay of Filing Income Tax Return

Posted on September 30 2020


Persons required to file the return of income
  •  In the case of companies:
It is mandatory for a company to file income tax return regardless of its income or loss.
  •  In the case of partnership firms:
A partnership firm (including LLP), has to file their return of income compulsorily, irrespective of its income being profit or loss. In other words, it is essential for every partnership firm to file the return of income irrespective of its income or loss.
  •  In the case of an Individual/HUF/Association of persons:
Every individual/HUF/Association of persons has to file their return of income if his total income without giving effect to the provisions of section 10(38), 10A, 10B or 10BAor Chapter VIA i.e., deduction under section 80C to 80U, crosses the exemption limit.
Exemption limit: The exemption limit is up to 2,50,000.
In the case of persons holding assets located outside India:
If a person is a resident in India and not ordinarily resident, who at any time during the previous year:
  • holds any asset, as a beneficial owner (an individual who has provided, directly or indirectly, consideration for the asset for the immediate or future benefit) or otherwise, located outside India or has signing authority in any account located outside India; or
  •  is a beneficiary (an individual who derives benefit from the asset during the previous year and the consideration for such asset has been provided by any other person) of any asset located outside India; shall furnish, on or before the due date, a return in respect of his income or loss for the previous year.
Due date of filing of income tax return:
Sr. No
Type of person
Due date
Any company other than a company who is required to provide a report in Form No. 3CEB
30th of September of the assessment year.
Any person who is required to provide a report in Form No. 3CEB under the section 92E
30th of November of the assessment year
Any person (other than a company) whose accounts are to be audited under the Income-tax Law or any other law
30th of September of the assessment year
A working partner of a firm whose accounts are required to be audited under this Act or any other law.
30th of September of the assessment year
Any other assessee
31st of July of the assessment year
Belated return 139(4)
If the person fails to file the income tax return within the time-limit describes as above, then as per the section 139(4) he can file a belated return. A belated return can be filed at any time before the end of the relevant assessment year;
Before the completion of the assessment; whichever is earlier.
Illustration to explain belated return:
A person could not file his income tax return for the assessment year 2017-2018 within the due date then an order was passed by the assessment officer under the section 144 on 28.2.2018 which is received by the assessee on 3.3.2018. The assessee filed the return on 2.3.2018. Is the income tax return valid?
The belated return can be filed before the end of the relevant assessment year or before the completion of the assessment, whichever is earlier. In the above case, the assessment was completed on 28.2.2018 i.e. the date of passing of the order.
As the assessee has filed the return of income on or after the completion of assessment i.e. 28.2.2018 then it is not valid. In this case he can file the return upto 27.2.2018.
Consequences of delay in filing the return of income [sec.234F]
If return is filed late but on or before the 31st of December of the Assessment Year- Rs. 5000/-
In any other case then Rs. 10000/-*
(*if total income is upto 5 lacs then penalty is reduced to 1000/-)
Other consequences:
Delaying in filing the income tax return can attract certain conflicting consequences. There are few consequences listed below:
  • Loss, other than loss under the head “Income from house property which cannot be carried forward.
  • Levy of interest under the section 234A.
  • Exemptions/deductions under the sections 10A, 10B, 80-IA, 80-IAB, 80-IB, 80-IC, 80-ID and 80-IE are not available.

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