In practice in spite of reminders, many of our clients do not file Return of Income within the time specified u/s 139 (1) or before the end of relevant assessment year.

Provisions of section 139(4) allow to file Return of Income, before the expiry of the relevant assessment year.

Considering the provisions of section 139(1)/139(4), we can rule out the following possibilities of filing of Return of Income.

Situation/s. Section Filing time Remarks Remarks


1 139(1) Within due date of filing



It is always better to file Return of Income in time to avoid litigations. Prosecution u/s 276CC cannot be initiated
2 139(1) Within the time extended by CBDT

(For AY 2020-21 time extended by CBDT till 30th November, 2020)

Filing of return within the extended time is a return filed as good as within the time frame u/s 139 (1) i.e. all the advantages are available such as revision u/s 139 (5). C/f of losses etc. Prosecution u/s 276CC cannot be initiated
3 139(4) After the due date u/s 139 (1) but before the end of the relevant assessment year Advantages not available i.e. C/f of losses not allowed (except depreciation loss). Revision not allowed. However this return is not barred by time and allowed as such. Prosecution u/s 276CC cannot be initiated
4 No filing of return allowed after the time specified in 3 above. Return of Income not allowed to be filed after the expiry of one year from the end assessment year i.e. it is barred by time. (For example For AY. 2019-20, Return of Income cannot be filed after 31st March 2021. After 31st March 2021 the return will be time barred)

In such case Return can be only upon notice issued u/s 142 (1).Further assessments in such cases are done u/s. 144. (Best Judgment Assessment)

Prosecution can be initiated U/s 276CC

The major cause of concern is prosecution for late filers covered in situation 4 above. As per the provisions of section 276CC, a person can be placed behind the bars for a term ranging from three months to seven years.

One may ask a question that, we have been filing late returns since a long. Why this time we should be more concerned about this?

The answer to above is that, now CBDT has decided to initiate prosecution (Chapter XXII provisions) against the big assessee to create deterrent effect amongst them so as to increase voluntary compliance.

(Compiled by CA Ramesh Nanasaheb Thete – B.Com., LLB, ACA.)

(Republished with Amendments by Team Taxguru)

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  1. Jalaja VN says:

    My TDS is decuted from my salary arrears Rs. 6,00,000/- on September 2019, for the financial years 2016-17,17-18,18-19. I want to get back the TDS amount of 23400/-. How can I get back this amount

  2. Akshay Jagtap says:

    I am a salaried employee. I want to file ITR for AY 2017-2018(FY 2016-2017)
    After the due date “31-Mar-2018”, is there any way to submit the my IT returns form.

    ‘After Due date 139(4)’. is not working.

  3. Manisha says:

    I am a salaried employee. I want to ask two questions:
    1. I am not able to file ITR1 of the assessment year 2017-18 till now due to some reasons. what can I do now?

    2. My assessment year 2016-17 ITR shows the message: Return invalidated.

    Please guide me in this problem.


  4. Sobhan says:

    After the due date “31-Mar-2018”, is there any way to submit the my IT returns form.

    ‘After Due date 139(4)’. is not working

    Sobhan Ch

    1. Pranav kumar says:

      Dear Taxpayer,
      Greetings from Income Tax Department.

      It is observed that you have not filed the Income Tax Return for XXXXXXXXXX for AY 2017-18.

      Therefore, it is advised that you may ascertain your tax liability for AY 2017-18 and file your Income Tax Return (ITR) without any further delay. Last date to file your return for AY 2017-18 is 31st March 2018. However, you are advised to file the Income Tax Return much before the last date to avoid last minute rush.

      Please note that the law has changed and ITR for AY 2017-18 CANNOT be filed beyond 31st March 2018.

      Please also link your PAN with Aadhaar on the e-Filing website. If your mobile is already linked with Aadhaar, then you can e-verify your ITR using Aadhaar OTP. e-Verification is Simple and Easy, you can e-Verify your return through NetBanking / Pre-Validated Bank Account / Bank ATM / Pre-Validated Demat Account. No need to send ITR-V to CPC Bangalore if you e-verify. To know more on e-Verification click here.

      In case you require any assistance in filing of Income Tax Return, please visit or call on 1800 103 0025.

      Disclaimer: Please ignore this email if you have already filed the IT Return for AY 2017-18.

      e-Filing Team

      This was the mail I had got in the month of March 2018. So now you can not file ITR1 for AY 2017-18.

  5. Mahendra Soni says:

    I am in govt job from 2008 I want e-file my ITR1 at this month I have completed my ITR1, but not submitted because I cunfuzion in ,on or before due Dt139(1) or After due Dt 139(4) ,or any other options show please clear this option can I choose option

  6. Jignesh Pujara says:


    Dear Sir,

    I want to know that while filing Income Tax return for assessment year 2017-18 in this month then which section should select for return filed field ( i.e. whether sec.139 (1) or sec. 139 (4) )

    Please Inform

  7. krishna kumar says:


    I was filling for the AY2016-17 this year, but incometax site not allowing me to file online. Please let me know the alternate option to file for AY 2016-17.


  8. Vinit says:

    I want to file ITR1 for AY 2016-17 with nil tax but its says that “the end date to file ITR1 u/s 139(1) is over”

    Please guide me.



  10. Subodh Chakraborty says:

    Dear Sir,
    I am a retired bank officer. Today I have received one demand notice u/s 245, which was raised on 03/10/2016 for AY 2013-14 from CPC. Actually they mailed me 4 month ago that they did not receive my ITR form originally signed so I resend it on 07.07.2016. They received it on September and now they are sending me the notice u/s 245 of Rs 36000/-.
    I found that my CA had filled the return by entering wrong challan number, thats why this demand has been generated.
    Please tell me the process to rectify it.

    warm regards
    Subodh Chakraborty


    Hi Sir,
    Can an assesse file income tax return for FY 2009-10 (AY 2010-11) now, I didn’t filed return from FY 2009-10 to till date. And I had TDS Deposit around 27000 INR in AY 2010-2011 (as per 26A) , so can you guide me what I do further for recovery TDS.

    My earning : from 2010 to Oct 2014 not above 1,50,000.00 INR.
    From 2015 to till date (out side India)

    During the June 2009 to march 2010 my brother start business on my name , after that shutdown business .

  12. Sukanya Vakkalagadda says:

    If we got a notice u/s 139(9) and the time lapses for submission of a rectification return, Can we submit return u/s 142(1)??

  13. Baldev Kumar says:

    Hello Sir,

    Can an Assesse file income tax return for FY 2012-13 now, he has not filed return in FY 2013-14 & FY 2014-15,time period of 2 years lapsed his tax liability u/s 192-B is 49000 and TDS deducted is 72000. Assesse has received notice for non filling of income tax return. Please guide.

    With regards
    Baldev Kumar

  14. poonam says:

    i want to filed my return for 13-14 can i filed that bcoz it is to late i mean after due date of belated return i want filed it on september if yes than can i claim the refund for the same.

  15. Deepak Ghanuurde says:

    An assessee can file the Returns within the expiry of one year from the end of relevant assessment year u/s 139(4) and such return is accepted as a valid return and the assessment u/s 143(2) are completed based on such returns.

    Whereas if a return is filed after the end of the a relevant assessment year, but within the expiry of one year from the end of relevant assessment year prosecution proceedings u/s 276CC can be initiated.

    In other words the same Act on the one hand accepts the return filed within the expiry of one year from the end of relevant assessment year for assessment purposes but on the other hand provides for prosecution even though the said return is valid as per the provisions of the same Act. Is it not an anomaly and contradiction within the same Act ?

  16. Nem Singh says:

    If return not file either of the clause of section 139 or 142 you can file the return before the Jurisdictional Assessing officer along with application disclosing the circumstances in which the return could not be filed in time provided under the provisions of section 139. It will be treated as self declaration.

  17. Vinod Pandey says:


    A very lucid presentation…. I must say. I was looking for some comprehensive but digestible piece on Filing of Return… I am more than happy that I got one.

    Vinod Pandey

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