Not filing a return on time does have financial implications, especially if you have a net income tax payable and / or if you have losses to be carried forward. This can really hurt especially if the losses to be carried forward are significant. Therefore, your best option is to ensure that you file the income tax return by the deadline.
Individuals primarily with salary income and certain other tax payers were required to file their tax returns by 31st July, 2019 for the financial year 2018-19 (assessment year 2019-20).
Belated tax return :-
As per the provisions of the Income Tax Act, 1961 (the ‘Act’), a tax payer who has not filed his tax returns within the due date or as per the time specified under a notice issued to him by tax authorities, may do so for a financial year before end of relevant assessment year or before the completion of assessment, whichever is earlier. Thus, in case a tax payer has missed his due date of filing his returns by 31st July, 2019 —for the financial year 2018-19, he could still file his tax return by March 31, 2020.
[Important Note: Please note that due to COVID-19 out break through out the country, the Union FM Smt Nirmala Sitharaman has announced some reliefs for businesses to cope up with the difficult times of COVID-19 and hence the last date for the belated/revised filing of the income tax returns for the FY 2018-19 (AY 2019-20) is extended from 31st March 2020 to 30th June 2020.]
Penalty for non-filing:-
If a person fails to furnish return before due date, the assessing officer may levy a penalty u/s 271F as follows:
|Date of Filing||Fees Leviable|
|If the return is furnished after the due date of filing but on or before the 31st day of December.||Five thousand rupees|
|In any other case||Ten thousand rupees|
|Note: If the total income of the person does not exceed five lakh rupees, the fee payable under this section shall not exceed one thousand rupees.|
Furthermore, there may also be instances where returns have been filed by the due date and subsequently, the tax payer finds some error in the same. In such an event, he may file revised returns any time before end of the relevant assessment year or before the completion of the assessment, whichever is earlier.
It is also possible that certain errors are observed by the tax department in the filing. Thus, where such authorities consider that returns of income are defective, they may intimate the anomaly to the tax payer and give him a chance to rectify it within 15 days from the date of such intimation or within such further period as may be specified. If the tax payer fails to right the wrong, then the returns filed by him shall be treated as invalid and the provisions of the Act shall apply as he has failed to file his tax returns.
As per Income Tax Department of India : “A tax return may be furnished any time before the expiry of one years from the end of the financial year in which the income was earned’. This means that if you earned your income during FY 2018-19, you may file a belated return anytime before 31st March, 2020 ” . But there are some disadvantages if you don’t file your returns on time. They are
(Republished with Amendments)