Deadline for filing IT returns is 31 July for every assessment year. If you missed the deadline, you can always file a belated return up-to 31 March every year. If you have also skipped the deadline for filing a belated return for the year, 2016-17 and 2017-18, you cannot file a belated return anymore. Now, you can file return only through direction of the Income tax officer, i.e. if you receive a notice for not filing the return, in that case, an ITR can be filed in response to the notice. In the same manner, we can also file a condonation of delay request to the assessing officer. If income tax officer is satisfied, he can allow us to file the ITR.

The below-mentioned points will summarize the procedure if what can be done if you have failed to file a return.

Filing request for condonation of delay

The Income tax department allows a taxpayer to file the ITR after the deadline in certain cases. The CBDT has issued a circular in regard to a person who has forgotten to file a return, or who wants to carry forward his loses or has tax refund pending, he can file an application for condonation of delay to the concerned authority or Income Tax Commissioner.

Parameters for filing the application.

Based on the following parameters, an application can be accepted or rejected by the IT Department.

  • The facts in the application is correct and genuine.
  • The failure to file ITR is due to genuine hardship.

Time limit for filing such application.

The time limit to file such application is six years from the end of assessment year of filing return.

Application Disposed by department

The IT department has to dispose the condonation application within 6 months from the end of the month in which the application is received.

If taxes are not payable

If taxes for the previous assessment years are not paid by you, then it is advised to pay the taxes and interest along with the application as applicable u/s 234A 234B and 234C. It might safeguard one from penalties in future, even if one missed to file the ITR.

If taxes are paid

If you have already paid all the taxes with interest for the previous assessment years, then you can neither file the ITR not apply for condonation of delay. The department can, however, levy penalty for non filing of ITR. The maximum penalty in such case can be Rs. 5,000. No penalty is levied if the reason for such non compliance is genuine.

If you have paid taxes but have failed to file the ITR, in such case, chances are that you will not be liable to pay penalty for under reporting of income.

Actions taken by department for not filing ITR

The department can take various action against you for non filing of ITR. Some are listed below:

  • A notice can be issued against you.
  • You might get prosecuted and get a jail for maximum 7 years.
  • If TDS has been deducted from your income and you have not filed the Return, the department can issue a notice against you or, it can also levy a maximum penalty of Rs. 5,000.

Disclaimer: The above post is only for the purpose of academic discussion and should not be construed as any legal opinion in any matter whatsoever.

(The author is a CA in practice at Delhi and can be contacted at: E-mail: abhinandansethia90@gmail.com, Mobile: +91-9811741451))

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