The deadline for filing income tax return for  corporate and other assessees who are to get their accounts audited under Income Tax Act 1961 or under any other law for the time being in force is 30th September and for others it is 31st July every year as have been prescribed under the Act.

However, due to the pandemic, the due date of furnishing the Income Tax Return for FY 2018-19 has been extended till 31st July, 2020 and for FY 2019-20 till 30th November, 2020. Also, under section 139(4) a 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.

Many people have a query what will happen if we do not file the Income Tax Return by the deadline. There are many benefits of filing the Income Tax Return. But, here we are discussing only the adverse consequences of Non-Filing of the Income Tax Return which includes Penalty under Section 271F of Income Tax Act, 1961, Interest under Section 234A of Income Tax Act, 1961,  Non-Carry Forward of Losses, Best judgment assessment, Claim of Refund of Taxes, Prosecution for Failure to Furnish Return of Income etc.

The same in detailed are listed below:

1. Interest under Section 234A of Income Tax Act, 1961: Default in furnishing ITR may attract Interest @1% per month and part thereof up to the date of filing of the return, on such unpaid tax amount.

2. Non-Carry forward of Losses: Losses will not be allowed to be carry forward if the income tax return is filed after the deadline. However, the loss under the head “Income from house property” can be carried forward even if the return of income/loss is furnished after the due date of furnishing return.

3. Claim of Refund of Taxes: Interest on refund u/s 244A may be lost as delay in filing is attributable to you for the period by which you have filed late return.

4. Penalty u/s 234F: If a person fails to furnish return before due date, the assessing officer may levy a penalty in the following manner:

Date of filing Fees Leviable
If the return is furnished after the due date of filing but on or before the 31st day of December Rs. 5,000
In any other case Rs. 10,000

Note: If the total income of the person does not exceed five lakh rupees, the fee payable under this section shall not exceed one thousand rupees.

5. Best Judgement Assessment: The Assessing Officer is under an obligation to make an assessment to the best of his judgment on the basis of all relevant material he has gathered in the following cases: –

    • If the taxpayer fails to file the return required within the due date prescribed under section 139(1) or a belated return under section 139(4) or a revised return under section 139(5).
    • If the taxpayer fails to comply with all the terms of a notice issued under section 142(1) or fails to comply with the direction issued under section 142(2A)
    • If the taxpayer fails to comply with all the terms of a notice issued under section 143(2)

6. Prosecution for failure to Furnish Return of Income: In case the return of Income is not furnished before the due date, don’t be surprised if you receive notice of prosecution u/s 276CC.

Therefore, Don’t wait for the deadline and get your Income Tax Return Filed to avoid the consequences!

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April 2021