CBDT Circular No. 9/2015-Income Tax, dated 09th June 2015 provides assessee a right to apply for condonation of delay in claiming the refund or carry forward the losses. So, in case, a assessee has missed the deadline of March 31, 2018 to file the return for FY 2015-16 and FY 2016-17, he can claim the refund by following the guidelines as described in this circular. The gist of these guidelines can be described as further:

1. Such an application will be examined for acceptance/ rejection by the authority, based on the following criteria:

a. The claim is correct and genuine

b. There is a case of genuine hardship on merits

c. Income is not assessable in the hands of any other person under the Income-tax Act

d. The refund has arisen because of excess tax deducted or tax collected at source, advance tax or self-assessment tax.

2. Authorities have been empowered to direct the jurisdictional Tax Officer to make necessary inquiry or scrutiny to ascertain the correctness of the claim.

3. Taxpayers can claim an additional refund even after completion of the assessment.

4. No interest would be admissible in case of belated claim of refunds.

5. The power to condone a delay has been delegated to various authorities as follows:

Amount of claim (refund / loss) for any one assessment year Authority –

a. Up to INR 10 lacs – Principal CIT / CIT

b. More than INR 10 lacs and up to INR 50 lacs – Principal CCIT / CCIT

c. More than INR 50 lacs – CBDT

6. The application should be ideally disposed of by the authorities within six months from the end of the month in which the application was received.

7. Application is to be made within six years from the end of the relevant assessment year. Therefore, for such taxpayers who have missed the deadline of March 31, 2018, can file such application by 31 March 2023 (for FY 2015-16) and 31 March 2024 (for FY 2016-17).

– For cases involving refund claim pursuant to a Court Order, the time limit of six years to exclude the period for which the proceedings were pending before any Court of Law. In such a case, the condonation application should be filed within six months from the end of the month in which Court order was issued or the end of financial year, whichever being later.

– Time limit of six years does not apply in the case of tax deducted at source by banks on interest in relation to 8% Savings (Taxable) Bonds, 2003 at the time of maturity, resulting in mismatch between the year of recognition of income by the taxpayer (on mercantile basis, if any) and tax deducted at source.

To summarize the above matter, it can be said that you can file the above such application only in a case where you have claim for refund or c/f of losses.

Circular No. 9/2015: Respite from deadline of March 31, 2018 to claim IT refund for FY 2015-16 & 2016-17

Consequences of not filing the return

In a case, where tax is payable by you, you are not eligible to file the condonation application. The department can issue a notice under section 271F for levying of penalty on non-filing of ITR. The maximum penalty in such a case is Rs 5,000 for the ITR up to FY 2016-17. No penalty will be levied if there is a genuine reason for such non-compliance and if the income tax officer is satisfied with the reasons. Further, in the worst-case scenario, you might get prosecuted and get a maximum jail term of seven years

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