Belated Income Tax Return

Belated Income Tax Return: Overview

Filing of income tax is an important task and should be done carefully. The tax payer has to first ascertain the category under which he/she falls, then clearly follow the prescribed formats, get the respective forms and diligently fill up the form in order to avoid any kind of problems later. Also, the tax payer has to make sure that the tax filed is done on time. However, many times he/she fails to file their income tax on time which may have serious consequences later.

Keeping the above situation in mind, the Income Tax Act, 1961 has provided certain provisions and have introduced a section that allows an individual to file his/her tax on the date post the initial tax filing date. The tax payer may file his return under Section 139(4) i.e. under the belated return of income tax.

Understanding Belated Returns

The tax payer can file a belated income tax return under two circumstances:

  1. If he/she has failed to file the tax return on or before the tax return date as mentioned under Section 139(1), or
  2. If he/she failed to file the income tax return again even after the tax assessing officer has prescribed another specified date, after the actual due date.

Tax Payer Category

In order to file a belated income tax return under section 139(4), the tax payer must ascertain the category of tax under which they fall.

  • In case of a company, the given date for filing the tax returns is 30th September of a particular assessment year.
  • If the tax payer has mandate tax audit, then also the last date of filing return is 30th September of the particular assessment year.
  • If the tax payer is a working partner of a firm and wishes to get the firm’s accounts audited, then the last date of filing return is 30th September of a particular assessment year.
  • If the tax payer is a salaried employee or is a self employed individual who need not get his account audited, then he/she has to mandatorily file the returns by the 31st July of the assessment year.

The dates for the filing of the returns are clearly mentioned under Section 139(1) of the Income Tax Act.

Key points to be noted before filing for a belated tax return

  • Belated income tax return has to be filed within a period of one year from the end of the particular assessment year i.e. before the expiry of the one year from the relevant assessment year.
  • Completion of assessment refers to the due date of the issuance of the assessment order and does not refer to the date on which the assessment order has been received by the assessee.
  • The return is treated to be valid, if it is filed post cancellation of the assessment.
  • Belated tax return cannot be filed in case of loss from one’s business, profession or capital gains.
  • One cannot opt for revised TDS return, if the tax payer chooses to file his/her return post due date for tax filing.
  • Circular No.9/2015 allows the taxpayers to file ITR for a period of 6 years by submitting a letter for ‘Condonation of Delay’ to the assessing officer. The letter submitted must be duly accepted and acknowledged by the assessing officer.
  • The reason for delay of the filing of the taxes has to be mentioned clearly in the specified columns.
  • Since, the tax payer is not allowed to make any changes to the ITR form filed post the expiry of the normal due date, he/she must make sure that all the details are filled diligently, in order to avoid problems in the future.
  • The tax payer will have to pay certain amount of interest to the IT department, if he/she chooses to file his tax under belated income tax category.
  • For an ITR being filed after two years of completion of the assessment year, the assessee has to pay a penalty of Rs. 5000 along with a monthly interest amounting to 1% of the amount of tax to be paid.
  • For an ITR being filed after one year of completion of the assessment year, the assessee has to pay a monthly interest amounting to 1% of the amount of the tax to be paid.
  • Payment of taxes and filing of ITR is the duty of each and every responsible tax payer in India. He/she must try to file an ITR on or before the specified due date. If he fails to do, then he/she must mandatorily file the taxes under the provisions of belated tax return. Avoiding payment of taxes or not filing return on time attracts penalty. The assessee might have to suffer heavy consequences if he/she tries to evade paying taxes or repeatedly fails to file the ITR.

Let us understand the concept of Belated Tax return Filing with the help of an example

Let’s imagine that the assessee had to file an ITR for the Financial Year 2012-13, the relevant assessment year for which is 2013-14. Depending upon the category of the tax payer (as described in the earlier section of this article), the last date of filing the ITR will be 31st July 2013 or the 30th of September 2013.

However, if he/she fails to file an ITR on or before the due date for whatsoever reason, then the same can be filed before the expiry of one year’s time from the end of the assessment year. It means that in this case, his/her assessment year will be completed on 31st March 2015.

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