In India, filing an income tax return after the deadline is feasible, although doing so could result in fines and interest. You still have time to file a belated return if you missed the initial deadline for e-filing of income tax returns.
Let’s understand what belated income tax is and the process of filing it.
What are Belated Income Tax Returns?
Every Indian citizen must file their ITR as per the deadline laid by the government. The government notifies the deadline for that particular assessment year, usually 31st July. For instance, if you need to file your income tax returns for FY 2023-24, the deadline is 31st July 2023.
If you missed your ITR tax filing within the original deadline the government gave, you could file a belated return, also known as a late return. It is a return that people file after they missed the original deadline but before the extended deadline. The extended deadline for FY 2022-23 was 31st December 2022.
What are the Drawbacks of Filing Belated ITR?
A late Income Tax Return (ITR) filing might result in several adverse outcomes. Here are a few of the primary disadvantages to take into account while submitting a belated ITR:
- According to sections 234A, 234B, and 234C, interest charges can be levied for late submission.
- There can be penalties for late filing of ITR in the form of a late fee under section 234F, which will be:
• No penalty for gross income up to Rs. 2.5 lakh.
• A fee of Rs.1000 for gross income between Rs. 2.5 lakh - Rs. 5 lakh
• Rs. 5000 as a fee for gross income more than Rs. 5 lakh
- If your e-filing of income tax is a belated return showing a loss, you will not be allowed to show capital and business losses. These losses are not allowed to be carried forward. With exception, however, you can show your house property losses that can be carried forward.
- In the case of a belated ITR filing, taxpayers are not allowed to show any deductions or exemptions. These include - deductions or exemptions under the following:
• Section 10B
• Section 80-IA
• Section 80-IB
• Section 80-IC
• Section 80-ID
• Section 80-IE
How to File a Belated ITR?
If you wish to file your belated ITR before the extended due date, you can opt for any one of the two methods:
1. You can do an e-filing of income tax, which is an online method, by login to the Income tax e-filing portal.
2. Another option is to use the offline ITR preparation utility tool, which you must upload to the e-filing website.
Here are the steps to follow:
1. Log in to your e-filing account.
2. Choose “File Income Tax Return” under e-file Income Tax Returns
3. Choose the assessment year for filing belated returns
4. Click on online if going with the online option
a. Then select the “Start New Filing” button
b. Choose your applicable status
c. Select the applicable ITR form
d. Go to the personal information section and ensure all details are correctly mentioned there
e. Go down and select Section 139 (4) under Filed u/s
f. Complete the form by filling in the income details under every income source head and move on to make the payment.
5. If you want to go with the offline option
a. You will need to download the offline ITR preparation utility and prepare your ITR. You will need to upload it in a .json file.
b. Attach the file in the space provided and click on Proceed to verification.
To prevent extra fines and interest charges, the belated income tax return must be filed as soon as possible. Before submitting your late return, it is advisable to verify the most recent regulations on the official Income Tax Department website or speak with a tax expert for the most recent information. Tax laws and regulations are subject to change.