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How many previous years’ Income Tax returns can be filed after due date? Let’s remove confusion

Arjuna (Fictional Character): Krishna, just a few days are left for the end of due date of filing returns for financial year 2018-19 i.e AY 2019-20 . Some lethargic tax payers are in hurry for filing their Income tax return for Financial Year 2018-19, but the due date of filing the return is July or September. How many previous years’ Income Tax returns can be filed?

Krishna (Fictional Character): Arjuna, for the Financial Year 2018-19 i.e AY 2019-20 the due date for filing for a salaried person or other taxpayers is 31st July 2019 and for any company and other taxpayers is 30th September 2019 and for transfer pricing applicable assesse it is 30th November. However, there are certain provisions under Income Tax Act, applicable for tax payers for filing their return after the due date. But please note that they come with restrictions.

Arjuna: Krishna, if the taxpayer has not filed the return before the due date then how should the tax payer file the return later?

Krishna: Arjuna, if the return is not filed as per section 139(1) of The Income Act then the tax payer can file the return till the end of that particular assessment year. For e.g. return for Financial Year 2018-19 can be filed till 31st March 2020. But please note that, the return filed after the due date i.e. 31st July or 30th September is considered as Belated Return of section 139(4).

Arjuna: Krishna, if the tax payer wants to file the return of preceding to previous years then what?

Krishna: Arjuna, as per income tax act return of the preceding years e.g. for F.Y. 2017-18 filed now, is generally called “time bared”. Further many tax payers manually submit the preceding 2 or 3 previous years return to complete their remaining responsibilities. However, whether to consider these returns or not is the discretion of the department. Income tax department may decide whether a penalty is to be imposed or not for such type of return. So tax payer should avoid filing a late return.

Arjuna: Krishna, what would happen if the tax payer has not filed the return?

Krishna: Arjuna, it is the responsibility of the tax payer to file the return. If the tax payer receives the notice of enquiry under section 142(1) or notice of Escaping income under section 148 then tax payer may file the return before the date as mentioned in notice or before completion of Assessment. This means the department gives one more chance but penalty can be levied by the department in such conditions.

Arjuna: Krishna, what can be the consequences if the tax payer has filed the return after due date i.e Belated return?

Krishna: Arjuna, for maintaining discipline and for planning, the department decides a certain due date for filing the return. If this is not followed then the tax payer has to bear the consequences. The following can be the consequences for filing belated return:-

1. If late return is filed then it cannot be revised

2. If loss is shown in the return then it cannot be carried forward

3. If a tax liability arose to the taxpayer then an interest will be imposed

4. If there is refund to the taxpayer then after the due date he will not get the amount of interest.

5. If a person fails to furnish return within 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.

Arjuna: Krishna, if tax payer has not filed return within due dates then should he file the return or what is the remedy?

Krishna: Arjuna, even though it is late the tax payer should file the return. All tax payers who have not filed the return for FY 2018-19 then they should file the return before 31st March 2020. For e.g. If taxpayer is having tax liability for preceding to FY 2018-19 year then the tax payer should pay tax and submit the Computation of Income, copy of challan along with the application to the department. It’s a voluntary compliance form the tax payer hence, lesser interest and penalty may be levied otherwise tax payer will have to face the consequences. If there is refund of previous years then taxpayer may make application to the commissioner for claiming refund.

Arjuna: Krishna, what should the tax payer learn from this?

Krishna: Arjuna, Tax payer should file the return before due date because due to computerization it is easy to find the defaulter. Further if there are entries in form 26AS of TDS and if the return is not filed then it can be problematic for the tax payer. Further if return is not filed within the due date then banks may not consider return for Loan purpose, etc. Please note that, while driving a vehicle on the route of laws, return should be filed before due date, as there is no U turn and in future Toll needs to be paid i.e. penalty would be imposed.

Replaced with Amendments

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  1. Santosh mane says:

    Pl sujjest me any option for TDS refund deducted by LIC from my commission in yr.2010-11,2012-13,2013-14 .I not filled ITR for this yrs.upto income is below the tax slab….Can I apply for TDs
    refund in current academic yr.2021-22 ….Pl reply anyone…Or call me on .8169058963

  2. Ralesh says:

    For FY 2016-17 I entered wrong income in ITR of 2016-17. I entered more than 2.5 Lakh but it is less than 2.5 Lakh. Please provide me solution

  3. Rajat kumar says:

    If anyone want to claim the tds amount from 2009-10 to 2019-20 …pls let me know i can.claim those tds…

    This is my contact number

  4. Laji M. Alex says:

    Sir, Due to some system error (PAN) i can’t paid my TDS for 2016 -2019. Pls tell me if any possibility to submit Form 16 now.


    If anybody want to file any previous year from (2009-10 to 2018-19)..
    Pls call me 9110270672
    Or ping me on my what’s app no on the same number

  6. S R Murthy Mocherla says:

    A friend of mine has not filed income tax returns since AY 2010-2011. He is a government employee. Government has been keeping Form 16 in the treasury website for all the years till date. Can he file tax returns for all the years since 2011 now.

    1. Khurshid Alam says:

      sir I have filed itr of a.y 2009-2010,on time, now out standing demand is displayed on the sight due to intrest paid by bank which was not calculated on. time whether it may be reviewed now

  7. Ria Dasgupta says:

    Dear Sir
    My ITR website shows ITS status for AY2016-2017 as return invalidated . I want to correct the same now is there a possibility to do the same . Can you please guide me on the same and also my income is below 500000 annually will there be any penalty ITR filed but status is return invalidated

  8. B NITHYANAND says:

    Dear sir,
    How can we transfer last year tds amount to current year tds
    for example , FY 2017-2018 , deducated TDS Rs. 10000/- , Now we cannot refund that TDS , Then What will we do and what is procedure for refund of Rs, 10000 in this financial year , Is it possible , if possible please give suggetion


    There is difference in the amounts of TDS recovered
    from my pension as per form 16 provided by the Bank and as per form 26 AS ( the amount of pension and TDS mentioned in 26 AS is less than that inform 16.
    Can I take the 26 AS figures as it is more beneficial for me. Please reply

  10. manjeet says:

    I have not filed income tax for 2011-12. and now i got a notice for not filing of ITR. WHAT should be my reply.
    and what should be my action now.

  11. vipin says:


    I have a query(5th June 2017), today I came to know my CA has not file a return for FY 2014-15,
    for 2015-16 I only file the ITR, now I have to file ITR for 2016-17

    So would like to know can I file ITR for FY 2014-15 along with FY 2016-17 ITR

  12. suyog says:

    sir i was not file it return last 5 years. but employer has deducted my tds. then it is possible to file IT return now for last 5 year. and which penalty have levy to pay.

  13. Ravi says:

    sir i want to file ITR FY 2012- 2013 and FY 2013 -14..if any way then suggest me ..At Income tax site when we file ITR then we get that year option ..Suppose if i file it then what happen ?

  14. KAPIL SHARMA says:

    महोदय मुझे यह जानना है कि मैं 2013-14 के रिटर्न को पूरा कर सकता हूं –

  15. sridhar says:

    i have filed IT RETURNS for 2014-15 and 2015-16.but my i dint filed for years 2009-10 to 2013-14. Isn’t chance to file income tax online or manual. what is the procedure for claim TDS.Please suggest me.



  17. SONU says:

    Dear Sir,


  18. Ram says:

    i am a government contractor and TDS is deducted from my payments, i have not filed returns since last 25 years and in this period i was very tense and i lost everything in losses in business including my house and properties. now i want to start afresh with the same name. can i be free from filing old returns and to file new fresh returns from now onwards when i start my business again from zero? please reply to me as i am very tense. thanks and regards.


    I had taken up a case with Postal Authrities for NOT issuing Form 16A to the poor Small Savings Agents. This resulted in the Department uploading TDS details only in December, 1975. The poor village Agents are NOT responsible for the delay. For want of Form 16A and non reflection in Form 26AS, they could not file ITRs and claim refund. What is the remedy?

  20. karan prasad swarnkar says:

    sir i have not filled my return from financial year 2009-10, 2010-11,2011-12 and 2012-13
    and how i file above return and what are consequences if i filled these returns as late return . if i file late return , refund received or not. and what under section i file late return.
    please suggest me for above cases.

  21. Manjunath S says:

    I forgot to claim tax refund and missed to checkbox for refund option while filing ITR for past 3 years. I wish to claim my taxable income as I have shown valid proof which comes below normal taxable income but when I filed for this year it did not give an option of getting refund as FY 2015-16 my income has not exceeded above 2.5L. Please let me know the procedure as to how to claim refund for last 3 years?

  22. Hemal Raval says:

    I receive non filler notice of ITR when i online filing ITR 4 for the F.y.2013-14 message display date is over what can i do

  23. Khush says:

    I realised today that I have to pay 835 Rs more to Income tax authority for the finanicia year 2012-13. Could you please help me in guiding underwhich section I should revise my tax. I know it is late and this I realized after going through 143(1) Demand Notice. There was communication going on from last one year with TAX department.

  24. prakash says:

    I’m a Salary employee in Private Engineering college i worked since2010-2014 november then i shifted to abroad in Feb,2015, now i came back from abroad on holidays i’m going to buy a new house when i approached bank for housing loan they asked FORM-16 for last 3 years but my previous employer paid my salary through bank per month Rs.23000/- after deduction of P.T.only other than i don’t have any salary slips from my past employer so now bank asking FORM-16A for 2011-12, 12-13, 13-14 financial years is it possible to file returns now with late payment fee past employer now agreed to provide salary certificates for those years so kindly guide me to get FORM-16A to get Housing loan from bank..

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