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File your belated ITR this month or pay higher penalty from January
December, 09th 2019

If you are one of those few who have not filed your income tax returns (ITR) yet, then you have time to file a belated ITR till the end of March 2020. However, if you file by the end of this month, you can get away by paying a penalty of ?5,000. If you miss the December 31 deadline then the fine will increase to ?10,000.

For the financial year 2018-19, the income tax department had set a deadline of July 31 for filing of ITR for individuals but it was later on extended to August 31. All those who file ITR after the due date are considered as belated ITR filers and treated accordingly.

Under Section 234F of the Income Tax Act, 1961, the assessee will have to shell out a fine of ?5,000 if the return is filed by December 31 and ?10,000 for ITR filing after that.

However, if the assessee's total income is up to ?5 lakh the penalty for belated ITR will be reduced to ?1,000.

Those who file their ITR after the due date are not allowed to carry forward any loss other than "income from house property" under Section 80.

Belated filers are also not allowed any deductions in respect of certain incomes under Chapter VI-A.

In case you have tax due then you will be asked to pay simple interest at the rate of 1% per month on the due amount.

The income tax department has been exhorting taxpayers who have not filed their ITRs for this time to do so now. "We missed you. You've been a regular filer. However, we couldn't help but notice that you were missing this year. So here's a little reminder," reads an email message sent out to those who did not file ITRs.

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