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Income tax returns can be filed even if you missed deadline
February, 14th 2018

If you are not able to file your income tax return before the prescribed date by the income tax department, don't worry. Even if you have missed the deadline, you can still file tax returns under the belated return provision.

What is belated return?

Filing income tax return after the due date is called belated return. It can be filed before the end of the assessment year.

If you want to file the return for FY 2015-16, the relevant assessment year is 2016-17 and so return can be filed till March 31, 2018 and likewise if you want to file the return for FY 2016-17, the relevant assessment year is 2017-18, and so return can be filed till March 31, 2018, according to cleartax, a tax consultancy firm.

How to file belated return

When you are filing belated return, procedure is the same as when you file the return on or before the due date.

You need to select ITR form applicable to you and fill the form in the same manner as when you filed the return on time and choose the assessment year for which you are filing the belated return for i.e FY 2015-16 select 2016-17 as assessment year, it said.

Consequences of late filing of return

It is advisable that return be filed on or before the due date and taxes due be paid on time otherwise it will have the following consequences:

Penalty and interest

If there are any unpaid taxes, penal interest at 1% per month or part thereof will be charged till the date of payment of taxes. Also, penalty of Rs 5,000 may be charged. The penalty is not levied in all cases and depends upon the circumstances of the case.

For returns of FY 2017-18 and onwards, penalty of Rs 5,000 will be charged for returns filed after due date but before December 31. If returns are filed after December 31, a penalty of Rs 10,000 shall apply. However, penalty will be Rs 1,000 for those with income upto Rs 5 Lakhs.

Unable to set off losses

Losses incurred (other than house property loss) are not allowed to be carried forward to subsequent years to be set off against the future gains in case where return has not been filed within the due date.

One must pay taxes and file the return on or before the due date. And in case one is unable to file return, at least taxes if any should be paid within due date.

If all taxes are paid, penal interest will not be levied. However, other drawbacks such as non-carry forward of losses will be applicable, according to cleartax.

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