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Missed the deadline to file income tax returns? Here is what you should do
August, 08th 2017

You can still file your taxes by the end of the assessment year. And in addition to paying any unpaid tax, you may have to pay penalties and interest on any tax that had not been paid.

Although, the government had extended the due date to file income tax return from 31st of July to 5th of August some taxpayers may have missed filing on time due to some or the other reason. If you also have missed this extended due date, you still have the opportunity to file return. However, filing a belated return can have some negative consequences, but it’s not the end of the world for you.

You can still file your taxes by the end of the assessment year. And in addition to paying any unpaid tax, you may have to pay penalties and interest on any tax that had not been paid. For the FY 2016-17, you are allowed to file a belated return only till the end of AY 2017-18 or before the completion of the assessment, whichever is earlier. It means that post March 31st 2018; you will not get any chance to file your return.

Earlier a taxpayer was allowed to file delayed return for up to two years from the end of the relevant FY. However, for FY 2015-16 also you have time till March 31, 2017, to file your delayed return.

Belated return cannot be revised

Taxpayers who file their tax return before the expiry of due date can revise their return if they need to. For some people, tax filing can be a tricky affair & errors may creep in while attempting to file a tax return. Therefore, it becomes necessary to give yourself a chance to revise your return.

Carry forward of losses is not allowed

When you file a belated return, you cannot carry forward your losses. The main exception in this situation is a loss from house property. Even if you have paid all your tax dues on time, you are not given any opportunity to carry forward your losses if you miss the tax filing due date.

Pay interest if taxes are due

Missing the tax filing due date can burn a hole in your pocket. If you have any taxes due & you do not file your tax return on time, your assessment officer can levy a penal interest at 1% per month on the taxes due.

Penalty when filing is not done by the end of assessment year

Your troubles will increase if you do not file your tax return even by the end of relevant assessment year. Even if you have no taxes due, taxman can impose a penalty of Rs 5,000 if you cannot show a valid cause for delay in filing taxes. However, the imposition of this penalty is at the discretion of the assessment officer and is rarely imposed in general, but there are provisions of higher penalty and prosecution for wilful defaulters.

Although you missed the due date this year, you need to make sure that you do not make the same mistake again next year as the government has introduced a late filing fee of Rs 5,000 for those who miss the tax filing due date. So, in the next assessment year, if you do not file your return by 31st of July, you will be asked to pay this penalty. This fee will increase to Rs 10,000, if you file taxes beyond 31 December. So don’t be a procrastinator and file your income tax return always on time.

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