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Income tax return: What if you miss the deadline
August, 01st 2013

A lot of people miss the deadline every year due to lack of time or plain laziness. Did you miss it too? In case you have, do not worry, you can still file a belated return. As a tax payer, you are likely to fall under one of these four categories. The associated rules and implications are outlined below.

Case 1: No pending tax liability
Cases where all the taxes have been paid through TDS or advance tax and you don't owe any more to the tax department. This is the safest situation. The income tax return for any assessment year can be filed till the end of that assessment year without any penalty. If it is filed after the end of the assessment year, there is a lump sum penalty of Rs. 5,000.

Case 2: Tax liability exists
This is the case where you still owe taxes to the government. It can happen due to many reasons. For example: if you have income from other sources, if you have worked in more than one company, etc. In such cases, the basic rule remains the same, i.e., the income tax return for any assessment year can be filed till the end of that assessment year without any penalty. You will be liable to pay a penalty of 1 per cent interest on the balance tax payable.

Case 3: You have a tax refund
If you have any tax refund then you can file the return even after the deadline without any issue. The only disadvantage will be that your return may be processed late, which may delay the refund process.

Case 4: You have to carry forward losses
Irrespective of the fact whether you have tax liability or not, if you do not file your income tax return by the deadline then you cannot carry forward the losses of that year to the next year. Thus, you would lose the benefit of setting off of these losses against the income of next year. However, there is an exception to this rule. This rule doesn't apply to loss from house property, which means this loss can be carried forward even if the income tax return is filed after the deadline.

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