Introduction: Filing income tax returns is a crucial financial obligation, and missing the deadline can lead to consequences. Under Section 139(4) of the Income Tax Act, a return filed after the due date is termed a belated return. This article delves into the intricacies of belated returns, outlining their limitations, consequences, and the step-by-step process of filing online under Section 139(4).
Under Section 139(4) of the Income Tax Act, a belated return is a return filed after the due date. The due date for personal income tax returns (non-audit case) is July 31 of the relevant assessment year. However, taxpayers may file returns after December 31 of the relevant accounting year.
A taxpayer may file a late return for a number of reasons. For example, the taxpayer may have forgotten to file on time, or may have been busy with other commitments. In some cases, the taxpayer had difficulty gathering the necessary information to file a return.
In addition to paying penalties, there are a few other restrictions on filing late returns. These limits are listed below – .
You cannot carry forward any losses from business/main occupation and capital income. However, ‘house property ’ losses and unabsorbed depreciation can be carried forward in the event of a delayed return.
Certain deductions are also prohibited u/s 10A, 10B, 80IA, 80IB, 80IC, 80ID, and 80IE.
In case of delay due to delay in filing ITR, taxpayer may also lose interest of 244A u/s 244A.
Taxpayers cannot change the regime when filing a late return. However, if you have filed ITR before July 31, you can change the regime by filing an amended return.
Late Fees: A taxpayer who files a late return is liable to pay a late fee of Rs. 5,000 if their total income is Rs. 5 lakhs and more. For taxpayers whose gross income is less than Rs. 5 lakh, a late payment of Rs. 1,000 is levied. Taxpayers with gross income of less than Rs. 2.5 lakhs no late fees is applicalble.
Interest : A taxpayer issuing a late claim also pays interest on any tax due. Interest is calculated from the date the return is due to the date the return is actually filed.
Loss of Certain Benefits: Taxpayers who file late returns may also lose certain benefits, such as the ability to carry forward losses or claim a deduction.
Step 1: Login to your account in e-filing account
Step 2: > Click on ‘e-File‘.
> Select ‘Income Tax Returns‘.
> Select ‘File Income Tax Return‘.
Step 3: Select the appropriate assessment year
Step 4: If you select ‘Online’ filing mode, follow Steps 5-10. If you selected ‘Offline’ filing method, skip to Step 11 .
Step 5: Click on ‘Start new filing’ button
Step 6: Choose the right setting
Step 7: Now, select the appropriate ITR form
Step 8: Click on the ‘Personal Information’ section and make sure all your personal details are correct.
Step 9: Scroll down to the section about files and select 139(4).
Step 10: Fill all your income returns under source headings and continue paying taxes.
Conclusion: Understanding the nuances of belated returns is crucial for taxpayers. From consequences like late fees and interest payments to limitations on carrying forward losses, this article provides valuable insights. Following the step-by-step guide for filing online under Section 139(4) ensures a smoother process and compliance with tax regulations. It’s recommended to consult with tax experts for personalized advice on late filings.
The author is an Income Tax, Accounting, and GST Practitioner and can be contacted at 9024915488.