Lot of people misses the deadline every year due to lack of time or plain laziness. Did you miss it too? In case you have, do not worry, you can still file the belated return.  As a tax payer, you are likely to fall under one of these 4 categories. The associated rules and implications are outlined below. Please Note Due date for Income Tax Return Filing for Non-Audit Cases been extended to 31st July 2018 from 31st July 2018 for Financial year 2017-18.

Case 1: No pending Tax Liability

Cases where all the taxes has been paid through TDS or advance tax and you don’t owe any more to the tax department. This is the safest situation. The Income Tax return for any assessment year can be filed till the end of that assessment year, that is,  till 31.03.2019. But one should be aware that if you have income exceeding the maximum amount not chargeable to tax (2,50,000/3,00,000/5,00,000) fees under section 234F shall be levied. The structure of fees chargeable is mentioned below:

Serial No. Date of Filing Return Amount of late filing fees u/s 234F (Rs)
1. If the return is filed after the due date but on or before 31st December of the assessment year 5,000
2. If the return is filed after 31st December of the assessment year 10,000

However if the total total income does not exceeds Rs 5 lakhs the amount of late filing fees shall not exceed Rs 1,000.

Moreover, if you income is less than the maximum limit, you can file the return without paying any fees or penalty.

For Example, for the current assessment year 2018-19, the deadline for filing the return is 31st August , 2018. If you missed the deadline, then you can file the belated return till March 31st 2019 wit or without fees depending on your income.

Case 2: Tax Liability Exists

This is the case where you still owe taxes to the Govt. It can happen due to many reasons. For example: If you have income from other sources, you have worked in more than 1 company, etc. In such cases, the basic rule remains same, i.e. the Income Tax return for any assessment year can be filed till the end of that assessment year . You will be liable to pay a penalty of 1% interest on the balance tax payable.

Let us understand this case with an example:

Mr. X’s Tax Liability (Net Tax Payable) be Rs.70,000

TDS deducted by employer Rs. 55,000

Advance/Self-Assessment tax paid be Rs.8,000

Balance Tax payable by Mr. X is Rs. 7,000 (70,000 – 55,000 – 8,000)

Suppose Mr. X files the return before the end of the assessment year (i.e. Before March 31st, 2019). In this case if Mr. X would be filing the return 3 months late, Tax Payable would be 7,210 {7,000+3 %( 7,000)}

These rules come under section 234A and there can be multiple components of the interest depending on the actual dates of payment of advance taxes.

Case 3: You have a Tax Refund

i. If you have any Tax refund and you can file the return even after 31st August without any issue. The only disadvantage will be that your return may be processed late which may delay the refund process. However if your refund is on account of TDS deducted or advance tax paid you will loose interest for 5 months and your interest will be calculated from the date of furnishing of return of income to the date on which the refund is granted.  Interest is calculated at the rate of one-half per cent for every month or part of a month comprised in the period

ii. where the refund is out of any tax paid under section 140A, such interest shall be calculated at the rate of one-half per cent for every month or part of a month comprised in the period, from the date of furnishing of return of income or payment of tax, whichever is later, to the date on which the refund is granted:

Case 4: You have carry forward losses

If you fail to file returns before the due date, you will have to forgo the benefit of carrying forward losses incurred under the head `Capital Gains’ and `Business Losses

Important points

  • Many a time, tax-payers make mistakes while filing returns and notice the errors much later. In such cases, the option to file revised returns helps. However, this won’t be the case if you miss the deadline. You are not allowed to file a revised return if you complete the filing after August 31. However wef A.y 207-18 Belated Return u/s 139(4) can also be revised u/s 139(5).
  • Some of the Deductions u/s 80 is not available for late return


Filing a return on time is always a good habit which will keep you away from tax implications especially when you have Tax Liability, Carry Forward Losses and Income Tax Refund etc. However, if you have missed filing the return, go ahead and file your return now right away.

Also Read:

Income Tax Return Due Date extended to 31/08/2018 

Missed 31st August Deadline for filing Income Tax Return? What Now?

How costly can the delay in filing tax returns be?

How to File Revised Income Tax Return in case of e-filed I-T Return

Penalty / Consequence of Late Income Tax Return Filing

Guide to know ITR applicable: Which ITR Applicable to whom?

Master Guide on filing of income Tax Return for A.Y. 2018-19

Filing of Income Tax Return -Documents required

What Is Income Tax Return?

Source: InvestmentYogi is one of the leading personal finance websites in India

(Republished With Amendments)

More Under Income Tax


  1. JD Murti says:

    An Indian pensioner visiting abroad for six months say March to September has to do in filing return ? what care he/she has to take care.

  2. Nitin Jain says:

    In Case 4 above,
    in the first line, there should be ‘ don’t ‘ instead of ‘ do ‘.
    The line will be:-
    Irrespective of the fact whether you have tax liability or not, if you DON’T file your income tax return by deadline (i.e. July 31st) then you cannot carry forward the loss of that year.

  3. CA S K KABRA says:

    The authorn has not taken care of the INTEREST payable u/s 234B for insufficient payment of ADVANCE TAX. This unitended lapse may mislead any taxpayer.

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