Belated income tax return and its consequences

Belated income tax return and its consequences
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Story Dated : August 5, 2017

If you think you will miss the extended income tax return filing deadline also, there’s still a chance for you to file your return. However, there are certain points you need to understand before you make up your mind to avail this last chance. Returns filed after the due date are referred to as ‘Belated Returns’. Below is your primer on filing belated tax returns:

What is belated income tax return?
If an individual fails to file the income tax return by the due date, then as per section 139(4) of the income tax he can file a belated return.

What is the deadline to file belated ITR?
A belated return can be filed at any time before the end of the relevant assessment year or before completion of assessment, whichever is earlier. If you are filing a belated return for FY16-17 then you need to fill the applicable ITRs as notified for this FY only and not for any previous or later FY. The relevant assessment year for a financial year is the immediately succeeding financial year.

This means that you can file belated return for FY2016-17 by March 31, 2018 i.e. before the end of of the current assessment year (AY2017-18).

Can you revise belated tax returns?
Yes, I-T return for the FY 2016-17 and onwards filed under section 139(4), which is belated tax return can be revised. However, belated returns filed for previous financial years cannot be revised because the income tax law for this was changed from FY 2016-17 onwards.

Is there a penalty?
No, the penalty for filing income tax return after due date is only applicable from FY 2017-18. The government has introduced a maximum late fee of Rs 10,000 for delayed filing of income tax return by individuals in the last budget presented in February this year. However, this fee is applicable with effect from April 1, 2018 and will not apply for returns filed for FY2016-17 for which the deadline as of now is August 5, 2017.

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