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Missed ITR deadline? File it before December 31 to avoid paying higher penalty
December, 10th 2019

The law of levying late filing fees under section 234F became effective from the financial year 2017-18 or assessment year 2018-19 onward. However, if your income is below the taxable limit, then you do not have to pay a late filing fee.

The law of levying late filing fees under section 234F became effective from the financial year 2017-18 or assessment year 2018-19 onward. However, if your income is below the taxable limit, then you do not have to pay a late filing fee.

August 31 was the last date to file your income tax return (ITR). Have you not filed your return yet? Well, you have until December 31 to file your belated income tax return to avoid paying a hefty penalty.

It may be recalled that Budget 2017 introduced the law of levying late filing fees under section 234F and it became effective from financial year 2017-18 or assessment year 2018-19 onward. So, if you file your belated ITR on or before December 31, you will have to pay a late filing fee of Rs 5,000. However, you will have to pay Rs 10,000 if you file it after December 31, 2019 but before the end the relevant assessment year, i.e., before March 31 (in this case between January 1, 2020 and March 31, 2020).

Assessment year is the year immediately following the financial year for which the ITR is filed. The assessment year for the financial year 2018-19 is 2019-20.

Penalty amount to pay for belated ITR filing

After August 31, 2019, but on or before December 31, 2019 Rs 5,000

Between January 1, 2020 and March 31, 2020 Rs 10,000

Now, if your income is below the taxable limit, you do not have to pay a late filing fee. And if you are a small taxpayer whose gross total income does not exceed Rs 5 lakh, then the maximum fees you are liable to pay is Rs 1,000.

These taxpayers don't have to pay any penalty for filing belated ITR
According to chartered accountants, if a person's gross total income does not exceed the basic exemption limit and files a belated return, then he/she will not be liable to pay penalty. Currently, the basic exemption limit for resident individuals below the age of 60 years is Rs 2.5 lakh. For senior citizens (age above 60 years but below 80 years), income up to Rs 3 lakh is exempted from tax. For super senior citizens (age 80 years and above), the basic exemption limit is up to Rs 5 lakh.

However, if you are an ordinarily resident individual with income from foreign assets and your taxable income is below the threshold, then you will have to pay the penalty if you don't file ITR before the deadline.

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