Yesterday was the last day for filing income tax returns. Most take comfort from the fact that since tax has been deducted by their companies, filing returns can be delayed. But, the latter is equally important. Income Tax returns for financial year 2009-10 can be filed till July 31 without any penalty. But what if you have not filed returns for 2008-09 as well? The income tax (I-T) department is lenient here and allows you to file back-dated returns for the past two years. In other words, returns of A.Y. 2009-10 can be filed till March 2011.

Tax returns may be furnished any time before the expiry of two years from the end of the financial year in which the income has been earned.

But, after the first-year breather come penalties. That is, if returns for A.Y. 2008-09 are filed after March 31, 2009, there will be a flat penalty of Rs 5,000. Importantly, there should not be any tax liability.

However, if you give a reason for not filing on time, like accident, hospitalisation or deputation abroad, the department mat waive the fixed penalty. But, if there is any outstanding tax to be paid, you may have to pay 1 per cent per month on the amount.

In addition to penalty there are two simultaneous interest charges being levied on you under Sections 234(A) and 234(B).” Section 234(A) deals with delay in filing returns and imposes an interest of 1 per cent a month from August of the assessment year (August 2008 in this case).

Section 234 (B) deals with delay in depositing advance tax and charges 1 per cent interest per month starting April 1, 2010, till such time the outstanding amount is paid. “Section 234(B) is applicable only to those who have an outstanding tax liability exceeding Rs 10,000.

But, if you do not file returns in time, you may lose some benefits available. “You will not be able to set off or carry forward any losses incurred on account of transfer of capital assets in financial year 2008-09.

For instance, if you sold a property in 2008-09 at a loss of Rs 50,000, there is a provision to set off this against gains made in the next eight years. But, if returns are not filed during the next assessment year (March 2010), you cannot take this benefit.

There are other benefits of filing returns as well. If applying for a home loan or a personal loan, income tax papers come in very handy. A good record can ensure quick processing of the loan and substantially reduce hassles. Also, if you want to travel abroad, income tax papers have to be part of the visa application.

Here’s the worst part. If you do not file your returns within two years, you will not be allowed to file at all. And, one fine day, the I-T department can call you and seek documents for the past six years. That’s one scary thought.

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  1. balvendra says:

    Hi ,
    I didnot submitted my ITR 2009-2010 but i go for apply bank loan they asked me so please sugest me it is posible for fil the ITR 2009-2010 Without paying fine so guide me .I have submitted ITR 2008-2009 ,But i skip my ITR -2009-2011.


  2. Advocate Ashish Kamthania (Rampur-UP) says:

    how to file income tax return for A.Y. 2010-2011. how to e-file or upload returns on incometax web site.

    where i got the free software for A.Y. 2010-2011 to generate xml file.
    ashish kamthania (Advocate)

  3. Amit Bajaj Advocate says:

    If the Income is below the exempted limit without deductions and the return is filed after the end of relevent assessment year. No penalty is leviable u/s 271F

  4. CMA Arif Farooqui says:

    there is a mistake in third peragraph of this article. it is written as—-
    That is, if returns for A.Y. 2008-09 are filed after March 31, 2009, there will be a flat penalty of Rs 5,000.
    date should be after 31 march 2010 not 31 march 2009

  5. Neha Parikh says:

    What if income tax liability is NIL? Still a penalty for late return filing will be applicable of Rs.5000/-? – Neha Parikh,Mumbai

  6. CA.M.Lakshmanan says:

    The assessees shpuld also bear in mind that for failure to obtain report u/s 44AB or furnish the said report along with the return of income to be filed on or befor 30th September of the assessmant year the penalty leviable will be 1/2% of the turnover or Rs. 1 lakh whichever is less – CA.M. Lakshmanan, Madurai.

  7. Ketan says:

    Are there any changes for the forms for filing Income tax returns for assessment year 2010-2011?
    Are these already available?
    If these forms are available, please mention the link from where they can be downloaded.

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September 2021