If you miss the deadline to file your income tax return (ITR) for FY 2020–21, don’t worry, you can still file your ITR till 31st March 2022!
An ITR filed after the due date is called a ‘Belated Return’ under Section 139(5) of Income Tax Act 1961. However, there are certain points you need to understand before you avail this last chance.
What is a Belated Return?
An assessee who does not file his return within the timelines prescribed in the income tax act but files it after the due date is referred to as a belated return. The due date for filing a belated return is on or before the end of the relevant assessment year. Belated Return can be filed at any time before the end of the relevant assessment year or before the completion of the assessment whichever is earlier.
In simple words, in case you’ve not been able to file your income tax return before the prescribed due date, you can still file a belated return of income tax after the due date as well.
Example: Sai has a taxable income of Rs. 9,00,000 from salary in AY 2021–22. He files his return on 5th January 2022. His due date to file the return is 31st December 2021. Since he has filed it on 5th January 2022 it is a belated return. Sai can file his belated return any time until 31st March 2022.
What are the Consequences if There is A Delay in Filing Your Return?
Delay in filing your return, has its own set of disadvantages:
1. Loss under head capital gain and business and profession will not be allowed to be carried forward;
2. The assessee will be liable to pay interest under section 234A depending upon the amount of tax due @1% per month;
3. The income tax officer may levy a penalty under section 271F for late filing of return up to Rs.10,000. However, if taxable income is below 5,00,000 penalties will not exceed 1,000.
4. In case the assessee is eligible for a refund, the tax department pays interest under Section 244A, a portion of which will be lost due to the late filing of return.
If you have missed the due date to file your return, you can still file it before 31st March 2022 by paying a late fee. Also, note that the time limit for filing a belated return for FY 2020–21 expires on 31st March 2022.