2 How costly can the delay in filing tax returns be?

Due date for Filing Income Tax Return for Assessment Year 2018-19 for  Salaried Persons and other Assessees who are engaged in business and profession and whose turnover is less than  Rs. 100 lakh (in the case of business) and Rs 25 lakh (in the case of profession wef from A.Y 2017-18 it is Rs 50 Lakhs) is 31st July 2018.  In this article we have detailed in the form of Question answers Consequences of Delay in Filing Return of Income or of Filing Return after the due date.

Please Note- Tax Audit Limit for Professionals been revised to Rs. 50 Lakh from Assessment Year 2017-18 with a Higher Presumptive Rate of Taxation for those who are having Turnover Below Rs. 50 Lakh. Further there is also changes in Provisions related to belated Return from Assessment Year 2017-18.

Q1.-First, what are the due dates for Income Tax Return Filing?

Answer:- Assessees having income from salary have to file return of income before July 31 of the assessment year. This is the `due date’ prescribed in section 139(1) of the Income Tax Act, 1961.

Self-employed businessmen and professionals, and those deriving income from let-out property too have to file their returns by this date.

However, businessmen and professionals with aggregate turnover/annual receipt exceeding Rs 100 lakh (in the case of business) and Rs 50 lakh in the case of profession have time up to September 30th for filing their return of income.

Q2. What are the benefits of filing Income Tax Return by the due date?

Anwer:- An assessee filing return by the `due date’ provided in the statute is eligible to file a revised return if he discovers any omission or wrong statement therein. No penalty would be levied for filing a revised return on voluntary basis. However there are some changes in provision related to time limit for filing of revised income tax return wef from A.Y 2017-18 and 2018-19.

Wef A.Y 2017-18- Belated return filed u/s 139 (4) can also be revised, within one year from the end of the assessment year or before completion of assessment whichever is earlier.

Wef A.Y 2018-19-Return filed us section 139(1) and 139(4) can be revised before the end of the relevant assessment year or before completion of assessment, whichever is earlier.

Q3. So, by filing Income Tax Return after due dates, does one lose the revision option?

Answer:- Yes. If an assessee does not file his return within the `due date’ and files his return subsequently, he cannot have the benefit of revising the return, as the return filed beyond the `due date’ is treated as `belated return’. However wef from A.y 2017-18 belated return u/s 139(4) can also be revised.

Q4. Any other advantages of sticking to the due dates of Income Tax Return filing?

Answer:-The taxpayer gets the advantage of carry forward and set off of losses, such as loss from business and loss under the head `capital gains’. If the return is filed beyond the `due date’ mentioned in section 139(1), these losses cannot be carried and set off against the income of subsequent years.

You cannot carry forward following losses in case of delayed filing:

  • Speculation loss,
  • business loss excluding loss due to unabsorbed depreciation and capital exp on scientific research,
  • short term capital loss,
  • long term capital loss,
  • loss due to owning and maintenance of horse races
  • Loss from specified business u/s 35Ad wef A.Y. 2016-17

Yet another advantage of filing return before `due date’ is the eligibility for interest on tax refund from April 1 of the assessment year.

Q5. Can delay in filing of Income Tax Return, therefore, be wasteful for `refund’ cases?

Answer:-Yes, because where the return is filed after the `due date’, interest on refund is paid only for the period from the month of filing the return to the date of refund. In other words, no interest is paid for the period from April 1 of the assessment year to the date of filing the `belated return’.

Q6. Do those with `nil’ tax liability have anything to fear if they file Income Tax Return after due date?

Answer:-Where the return is filed beyond the `due date’, the taxpayer has to pay interest if any, on tax liability existing beyond tax deducted at source (TDS) or tax collected at source (TCS) or the advance tax paid. The question of interest does not arise where tax due for payment is `nil’, as would be in the case of most salaried people who pay their taxes through the TDS route. Legally, a taxpayer can file his return before the end of the assessment year without any penalty (however with penal interest under section 234A). Again, the question of penal interest does not arise in the `nil’ cases discussed above. For the assessment year 2018-19, return of income could be filed up to March 31, 2019.

Q7. How costly can delay in filing Income Tax  return can be?

Answer:-Apart from interest and penal interest, there are other implications. If the return is filed after March 31, 2017 but before March 31, 2018 the AO (Assessing Officer) could levy a penalty of Rs 5,000 under section 271F. Even when there is no further tax payable on the income admitted, penalty under section 271F is leviable for the delay. If the return is filed after March 31, 2018 then such return would become an invalid return.

However wef from A.y 2018-19 Penalty u/s 271F shall be replaced by late filing fees U/s 234F. The assessee shall be liable for late filing fees under section 234F from A.Y 2018-19 onwards. The late filing fees is explained in table 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.

Q8. Can Assessee be imprisoned for Non-Filing of Income Tax return?

Not filing of Income tax returns on time can land you in jail. This can happen if the I-T authorities feel the assessee wilfully failed to furnish returns on time and the tax due is more than Rs 3,000. Under section 276CC of the I-T Act, if the amount of tax exceeds Rs 25 lakh, the assessee can be sentenced to rigorous imprisonment for anywhere between six months to seven years, and fined. In other cases, imprisonment can be between three months and two years, with fine.However, these penalties are levied in a very rare case. In most of the cases, the taxpayer is only required to pay interest @ 1% for late deposit of income tax.

Recommended Posts

Tax Audit Limit for Professionals Increased to 50 Lakhs 

Revision of Belated Return – Qua Clause 65 of Finance Bill, 2016 

(Republished with amendments)

Author Bio

Qualification: CA in Job / Business
Company: Taxguru Consultancy / Taxguru Edu
Location: Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
Member Since: 27 Feb 2017 | Total Posts: 1015
A Blogger by Passion and a Chartered Accountant by Profession. View Full Profile

My Published Posts

Join Taxguru’s Network for Latest updates on Income Tax, GST, Company Law, Corporate Laws and other related subjects.

Join us on Whatsapp

taxguru on whatsapp GROUP LINK

Join us on Whatsapp

taxguru on whatsapp GROUP LINK

Join us on Whatsapp

taxguru on whatsapp GROUP LINK

Join us on Whatsapp

taxguru on whatsapp GROUP LINK

Join us on Whatsapp

taxguru on whatsapp GROUP LINK

Join us on Whatsapp

taxguru on whatsapp GROUP LINK

Join us on Whatsapp

taxguru on whatsapp GROUP LINK

Join us on Whatsapp

taxguru on whatsapp GROUP LINK

Join us on Whatsapp

taxguru on whatsapp GROUP LINK

Join us on Whatsapp

taxguru on whatsapp GROUP LINK

Join us on Telegram

taxguru on telegram GROUP LINK

Review us on Google

More Under Income Tax


  1. MAZ says:

    Last 4 year I did not filed any IT return, my business income approx. with in
    Rs. 200,000/- can submit four year IT return if your answer is YEs, let me know about the penalties and also procedure to file self return,

  2. Rishit Jaiswal says:

    Dear Sir, We run a business and total revenue for financial year 2014-2015 was around 3.5 cr. We have a profit of 1.5 cr. For last one year business started going down and we are in great loss in this year since feb 2014. But total income comes as 1.5 cr and now since we are going in loss we don’t have money to pay tax now. We paid only 50% advance tax till now.
    In case we can’t manage to pay all taxes by 30th Nov but we pay by 20th Dec 2014, what penalties we have to face. Pls reply

  3. Kingshuk says:

    Dear Sudarshana,

    I am yet to file for income tax return for 2013-2014. I am seeing that though TDS has already deducted from my salary, still Rs. 1,50,000 needs to be paid. Can you tell me how much will be the penalty for this late filing of returns.


  4. Ramesh says:

    The Return of Income was filed after the due date by an individual. Individual had Business loss for the year and Income from long term capital gain and income from other sources. AO adjusted the Business Loss against Income from other sources and remaining business loss for the year he did not adjust against Capital Gain.

    Business Loss for the year Rs.100
    Income from Other sources Rs.20
    Income from LTCG Rs.200
    Total income computed as Rs.120

    AO computed as Rs.200

    Return was filed after the due date.

  5. Kumar Sandeep says:


    When i am preaparing return (AY 2014-15) filing today it show me some amount to pay (interest Rs 452 in 234A column), even i have deposited self assessment tax of Rs 11320 online on 30 july 2014 and already figure is visible on 26AS form.

    Please guide me.

  6. sudarshana says:

    Dear Aparna/Megha,
    Aparna:Please file a revised IT return online and send the signed ITR-V. Megha: File the return and send the duly sigend ITR -V by post. Simple.

  7. Kabir says:


    i am an NRI and have income in India from the following :

    1. Property Rent – ~ 4,50,000/PA since 2009. However as tenant was a corporate they were deducting tax at source.

    2. Interest earned on Fixed deposits – ~ 1,20,000 / PA (since Sep 2012)(also presume bank would be deducting tax at source ?)

    I have never filed any IT returns and would like to know how to go about filing returns and what the arrears would be payable for the above.

  8. Chaitanya says:

    Hi sir,

    I have to file nil tax returns of my company which is registered in the year of 2011 and til date I havent done any business transaction. Please suggest me how to file Nil taxes and other things that I have to file to keep my company active for this year as I’m expecting to do some business this year.

    Thanks Sir.

  9. SOMNATH JOSHI says:

    Please help and guide me i am NRI in financial year 2012-13 (a.y. 13-14) and e-file the income tax return on 22.07.2014 with Gross income 639624.00.that time auto generated ITRV not shown any tax liability.

    Now i received demand letter from income tax of Rs. 80340.00 I check clearly i mention my NRI status in the return. As i know NRI income is fully exempted. Please advice me on this.

  10. SOMNATH JOSHI says:

    Please help and guide me i am NRI in financial year 2012-13 (a.y. 13-14) and e-file the income tax return on 22.07.2014 with Gross income 639624.00.that time auto generated ITRV not shown any tax liability. Now i received demand letter from income tax of Rs. I check clearly i mention my NRI status in the return.

    As i know NRI income is fully exempted.

    Please advice me on this.

  11. Amit Sharma says:

    Dear sir, i have a quarry regarging non filling of ITR ,I received a notice from income tax department for non filing of tax return since AY 2010-11 to current period . as I did not file my ITR , I am a govt. salaried person and my companay deducted TDS on salary offered to me so what should i do now ?

  12. sudarshana says:

    Mr.Ranjan, There are two things here. 1) Even if your tenant cuts the TDS and deposits he will do so to your PAN details and ensure it comes to your account as can be seen in 26AS form. 2) He will be lable for penal action if he duducts and not credit it to IT dept in time. 3)If you are getting the full rent without TDS deduction, you have to pay ‘advance tax’ online or otherwise at least on quarterly basis. This is how all do normally in respect of the incomes without TDS but are taxable.

  13. ranjan says:

    hello sir, my tenant pays me 38800 rent per month -for my apartment..he has not been cutting TDS…. however, when i will file my returns, i will show this income and pay whatever tax…. by when do i have to pay tax?? also, what problem can the tenant be if he isnt cuttung TDS? thanks

  14. sudarshana says:

    As you cannot file online, only option left for you is to file manually. How it will be dealt is to be ascertained by tax PRO. Please go ahead and file.

  15. darshan says:

    I have TDS form Fixed Deposits with bank,
    I have not filed my return for AY.2012-13,
    I do not have income exceeding the specified limit not chargeable to Tax in F.Y 2011-12.
    The TDS is to the Tune of Rs 11000/-
    Hence the TDS Rs 11000/- stands Refundable, Can i file a return manually
    (because online do not Accept) with the Department and Avail Refund.
    I have filed subsequent returns i.e., A.Y 2013-14 & 2014-15.
    Please guide.
    Hubli 08/09/2014

  16. sudarshana says:

    The best option as I understand under the conditions indicated by you is:
    i. Assessment is complete and the file is closed with ‘no demand no refund’
    2. You have found out that some income is left out of accounting and want to know how to proceed in the matter
    3. The interest on Fixed Deposits are assessed and taxed on ‘accrual’ basis and not on ‘receipt’ basis. If you have not accounted on accrued interest on htat year, you can show it during the year of receipt;
    4. Even if that amount is not accrued but actually received you can show it under ‘other sources’ in the subsequent filings and can be clear that you have accounted the income which was missed earlier.
    5. Though not showing the inoome is an error not accounting the same when you have realised is a bigger error as it surmounts to delibrate suppression to avoud tax.
    6. Weather revision is better or showing it subsequently cannot be said in the absence of the year to which the interest not shown pertains.

  17. Alam says:

    Dear Sir,

    We cannot file a revised return if the assessment has already completed. My question is “How do I know if the assessment is complete”. Can I find it online ?
    I’ve some fixed deposits which I forgot to include in my return and hence, want to file a revised return. If I see the status, online, of that year for which I plan to revise the return, I see the status as “ITR processed. No demand No refund”

    What to do ? Should I assume that the assessment is alredy complete and I cannot revise the return or I should still go ahead and revise the return, as I know that I missed including the FD income.

    I havn’t got any income tax notice.

  18. sudarshana says:

    Mr.Alok. As stated in my post. Corresponding Return form not the current year’s. My comments suggesting you to file the revised return “voluntarily – corresponding section” is valid as long as you dont receive the notice from the IT dept.

  19. Alok says:

    Dear Sir,

    With respect to my earlier query, where you suggested me to file a revised return for my wife’s income for the AY 2013-14, (Your response dated August 5, 2014 at 8:25 AM), I request you to clarify the following:

    1. Do I need to download the older AY form (2013-14) from the income tax website and fill the revised return or the 2014-15 AY form ?


    The DUE DATE for filing return of Income for AY.2013-14 is 31-07-2013. Assessee file return of income on 25-10-2013 and claimed refund of tax (TDS) paid for Rs. 10000/-.
    According to your opinion interest on refund is as under
    Question:-Can delay, therefore, be wasteful for `refund’ cases?
    Answer:-Yes, because where the return is filed after the `due date’, interest on refund is paid only for the period from the month of filing the return to the date of refund. In other words, no interest is paid for the period from April 1 of the assessment year to the date of filing the `belated return’.
    As per provisions interest for delay attributable to assessee is not payable by department. Thus interest for the period fron 1st August to 31st Oct. will not be payable by department. The Interest for April,2013 to July,2013 and from Nov.2013 to July,2014 (the month in which refund is iissued)is payable by the department.
    Therefore,your opinion that interest for 1st April to 31st July is not payable by department is contrary to law.

  21. s sudarshana says:

    The question is about the payment of tax, surcharge and interest for the late payment of income. These are in our hands and we are supposed to take care. Regardng penalty u/s 271F, it is a discretionary power of the assession officer. Chances of this is based on many factors, like, (i) changing the whole income in the revise implying you had suppressed the income in the first instance, (ii)weather you are submitting in response to a notice from the IT authority or voluntarily, (iii) mood and the way the AO assesses the assessee! Pl take care of the tax etc and not about the penalty. It is said “one who foresees calamities will suffer them twice!”. Once is better than twice.

  22. Alok says:


    With respect to your response, to my wife’s delayed return for AY 2013-14, how about the section 271F penalty that you have talked in the last question of your article ?

    While filing the revised return, how this section 271F penalty will be accounted ?

  23. s sudarshana says:

    Mr.Alok: This is also very easy! As she has filed the original return in time, she can file the revised Return even now. Same procedure that I had indicated to you. Ensure to download the form of the corresponding Assessment Year and file it. Also pay the Self Assessment Tax of the correct A.Y. Only difference is that you have to add about 2% pm interest for the income tax due from March 2013 to August 2014. Revised volunteerly is the option, again.

  24. Alok says:

    Dear Sir,

    My wife has missed to include the income from other sources (FD interest), in the return (ITR1) she filed for AY-2013-14 in July 2013. She included only salary income and filed the return. Later on, when she looked at the Form-26AS 2 days back, she saw FD interest also mentioned there.

    I ‘m not sure how to file revised return for AY-2013-14, since more than a year has passed.

    Please suggest.

  25. s sudarshana says:

    Mr S Sen: One is supposed to pay the taxes by 31/3/2014 and not by 31/7/2014. Secondly, it appears, prima facie, that you have not added any amount to the tax due from you. IT Dept charges 1 or 2% pm for the delay in paying the taxes. Strictly speaking one has to square up the tax liability for every quarter to be on the safe side. Next, the last date is not 4/8 but 5/8, if what I have heard is correct.
    If you have not yet filed the returns, pl pay few more rupeeds to take care of nominal interest they put for delay in paying the tax and little more so that there is some surplus for the IT dept to process the return and refund to your account. It is to be paid under self assessment tax only. You can file till tomorrow and thereafter also.

  26. s sudarshana says:

    Mr.Alok, it is very eary. You have not mentioned you have used ITR-1 or ITR-2. In either case, submit the revised as you have done earlier but with (a) option as Revised and (b) u/s 139(5) (i.e. revised voluntarily, (not in response to notice)) (c) Add amount of FD interest under “income from other sources, interest, etc” which will result in change in the tax due from you. You should also mention the TDS, if issued by bank). If you have paid enough to take care of additional tax liability it is okey. (ALL THE REST OF COLUMNS FILLED EARLIER HAS TO BE FILLED again). In case you have to pay extra tax, then, before filing the Revised Return, cacluate the tax due, add some 2 to 5% (as you are liablie to pay interest on the tax not paid before 31/3/2014) pay online under Self Assessment Tax challen. Enter this detail in the ITR-revised form and upload. Simple, you know. Dont forget to write the orginal acknowledgement no and date of filing.

  27. S Sen says:

    Hello. I had some tax payable for FY 2013-14 (AY 2014-15). I paid the tax via bank through cheque on 30/7 and they told i will get the challan on 31/7. But i got it on 1/8 although it is dated 31/7. Now i was unable to file on 31/7. The online form is now showing interest u/s 234A. Should i pay the interest again although i paid my taxes due on 31/7? If yes under what type of payment will it come under, self assessment tax? If no what should i show my tax status as, ‘nil tax payable’?
    Thank you

  28. Alok says:

    Dear sir,

    For AY 2014-15, I’ve filed the retun before 31st july 2014. But I forgot to account for the income from my FDs. How can I file a revised return, under which section, and what extra I need to pay ?
    How different is filing this revised return from the original one ?


  29. s sudarshana says:

    Veerendra Meena,
    ITR-4. Income from profession. You can show expenditure on rent, elecricity etc. to carry out your profession of tuitions.

  30. veerendra meena says:

    i have income form tuitions. Wanted to know which ITR form is applicable for me for assessment year 2014-2015.Is it ITR-1 or ITR-2?

  31. s sudarshana says:

    Dear Meghana,
    Your quiery will be answered after a small note of advise.
    The govt website is so nicely designed, anybody can decide and get all their doubts on taxation by going through the site or by helpline given for specifict purposes. Gone are the days when the whole day you get the engage sound on phone. Not only they answere your doubts, but send an email about what they said.
    You can file the return in ITR-1 as you dont have two houses etc. Show the interest income of FDs and SB accounts in ‘other sources’ and show only the SB account interest (limited to 10000) under section 80-TTA. Good luck!

  32. Meghana says:


    Till assessment year 2013-2014, I was filling tax returns using ITR-1 form. I am salaried employee and gained interest on Fixed deposit. No other investment. Wanted to know which ITR form is applicable for me for assessment year 2014-2015.Is it ITR-1 or ITR-2?


  33. s sudarshana says:

    All the TDS submitted by you can be seen in form 26AS (traces) and even if you forget, while doing online filing, that TDS is also reflected. Filing is such a simple procedure it can be done after keeping all the figures ready. IN the dept. site, you can save the draft any number of times until you are sure of all entries and then upload. If you have the internet you can do it yourself. Computer/online feature will do the calculations and you you have tosupply the input. sudacgwb@yahoo.com

  34. Surendra Salgaonkar says:

    I return file regularly through my friends or agent. Now
    1. How much they charge for it?
    2. This time bit problem, after submition, one TDS certificate recieved now what to do?

  35. s sudarshana says:

    Dear Senior Citizen:
    You can file the returns for the previous years though you have no taxable income to enable you to get the refund of TDS banks have deducted. There is no other way you can get the refund. Late filing of tax return by the assessee whose tax liability is zero will not be treated like those who filed late although they had taxable income.
    It may not be out of context to mention here that the tax department was not accepting the returns from those whose tax liability is zero.

  36. CA Nilesh Gupta says:

    Apart from these there is also a risk of initiation of prosecution by the department for not filing the return of income within due date, even if the return is filed belated.
    Few such actions have been initiated and even Supreme court has upheld the action the department.
    Hence may be most serious in some cases.
    CA Nilesh Gupta

  37. A. R. Detroja says:


    How many belated returns filed in income-tax. (For example Mr. A file his income-tax return for F.Y. 2009-10, 10-11, 11-12 and his regular return is F.Y. 2012-13 due for June 2013. so he file his return as belated return or not and other he filed online return or paper return and for file this return any permission is required.)


  38. usha says:

    dear sir,

    i did not my tax return on time. during 4 to 5 years i have no bussiness.
    i want to pay tax . plz guide me how much it can be and how it is possible

  39. J. A Singh says:

    I received my PAN card for the first time in 2010. But I have never submitted an ITR.
    My income is less than 200,000. I do tuitions at home.
    Can I now file my ITR and what penalties can I expect? Also can I file it online?

  40. dinesh bhavnani says:

    banks have deducted tds from a senior citizens interest paid in ay 09-10 10-11 11-12 and have not sent the form 16A can we file returns for previous years and claim refund for excess tax as there is no liability at all for the individual.
    thanks for your reply in advance

  41. M.S.Rajaram,Pondicherry says:

    when accrual of interest on refund is calculated from April of A.Y. due date for filing returns is to be from that date.If july is taken as grace period,payment of interest from july is proper and earlier period is not relevant to the issue.It is extravagant on public exchequer,avoidable.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Search Posts by Date

February 2023