The last date to file an income tax return for the FY 2022-23 (AY 2023-24) was July 31, 2023. If an individual misses this deadline, then can also file an ITR. The income tax return filed after the expiry of the deadline is called a belated ITR. One will have to pay a late filing fee and penalty interest on taxes due if any) when filing a belated ITR.
Here's what you need to know about filing a belated income tax return.
What is a belated ITR?
An income tax return filed after the expiry of the due date is called a belated ITR. This ITR is filed under Section 139 (4) of the Income Tax Act.
What is the last date for filing a belated ITR?
According to the amendment made in Budget 2021, the limit allowed for filing belated ITR has been reduced by three months. Now, a belated return can be filed any time three months prior to the end of the relevant assessment year or before the completion of the assessment, whichever comes first.
Generally, the last date to file a delayed ITR for FY 2022-23 (AY 2023-24) is December 31, 2023.
Till FY 2019-20 (AY 2020-21), an individual can file the belated ITR till March 31 of the assessment year. However, effective from FY 2020-21 (AY 2021-22), the belated ITR can be filed till December 31 of the assessment year.
What is the penalty amount for filing a belated ITR?
The penalty amount payable has been reduced by half due to the reduction in the time limit to file a belated ITR.
Till FY 2019-20 (AY 2020-21) there was a two-tier structure. If the belated ITR was filed after the expiry of the deadline (July 31) but on or before December 31, a late filing fee of Rs 5,000 was applicable. If the ITR is filed between January and March, a late deposit fee of Rs 10,000 was applicable. A consequent amendment was made to Section 234F due to the reduction of the time limit for filing a belated ITR.
Therefore, under the current rules, an individual will be required to pay a late deposit fee of Rs 5,000 if a belated ITR is filed. For small taxpayers whose total income does not exceed Rs 5 lakhs, the late filing fee will not exceed Rs 1,000.
What are the benefits lost while filing a belated ITR?
In addition to paying the late registration fee of up to Rs 5,000, an individual will also have to forgo other benefits as well. Chartered Accountant Naveen Wadhwa, DGM, Taxmann.com says: “If an individual misses the ITR due date and later ITR late filings, he or she will not be eligible to carry forward losses (except for losses under head - income). Losses under the following income heads cannot be carried forward if a belated ITR is filed:
1) Income from businesses and professions including speculative businesses.
2) income from capital gains,
3) Income from other sources.
In addition, if there are unpaid taxes at the time of filing the ITR, penal interest will be levied as well. " Penal interest will be levied under Section 234a if self-assessment taxes are due," Wadhwa says.
Can delayed ITRs be revised later if a mistake is discovered?
After filing a belated ITR, if a mistake has been discovered, then an individual taxpayer can revise the belated ITR. The deadline for revising the belated or original ITR for FY 2022-23 (AY 2023-24) is December 31, 2023.
However, keep in mind that the last date for the submission of the belated ITR and the revised ITR (for the belated or original ITR) is the same, i.e., December 31 of the relevant assessment year.
Therefore, if you file your belated ITR for FY 2022-23 (AY 2023-24) on December 31, 2023, you may not have an opportunity to file a revised return because the filing of the same also expires on December 31, 2023.
What should be considered when filing a belated ITR?
If you file a late ITR, then you will need to fill and file it using the applicable ITR form notified for the assessment year. The relevant assessment year for the financial year is the immediately succeeding financial year.
Therefore, when filing a belated ITR for FY 2022-23, the relevant assessment year is 2023-24. An individual taxpayer must use ITR forms reported for AY 2023-24 to file a belated ITR.
What if you miss the belated ITR deadline
It may happen that you missed the deadline of December 31, 2023, for filing a belated ITR. In such a scenario, the individual has the option of filing the updated ITR under Section 139(8).
An updated ITR can only be submitted after the end of the assessment year. Therefore, the updated ITR for FY 2022-23 (AY 2023-24) can only be filed after March 31, 2024. The last date to file the updated ITR for the FY 2022-23 (AY 2023-24) is March 31, 2026.
Also Read: How to verify ITR? Here are 6 ways to verify income tax return