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Missed December 31 ITR deadline? Here's what you can do to file IT returns
January, 10th 2024

Income Tax Returns (ITR): The Income Tax department gives taxpayers multiple chances to fill their Income Tax Returns. December 31 was the last chance for filing Income Tax Returns (ITR) for the financial year 2022-23. Those who missed filing ITRs on July 31, 2023, were supposed to file the returns by December 31. But if someone has still missed filing the returns, there is still a way to avoid getting a notice from the IT department.

Under the income tax laws, every responsible citizen is expected to file their ITRs annually. Apart from fulfilling this duty, taxpayers can utilise the process to request refunds for any excess taxes paid or deducted throughout the fiscal year.

What after belated ITRs

If a taxpayer fails to meet the deadline for filing a late return due to valid reasons, they can apply for a condonation of delay from the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) under Section 119 of the Act.

Condonation of delay in filing ITR is a specific relief offered by the Income Tax Department to taxpayers who file their ITR late or verify it late. To take advantage of this provision, taxpayers must submit a request for condonation of the delay in filing ITR through the e-filing portal.

 

Then, if the income tax officers deem fit, they can accept the request and give the taxpayer a second chance to file the ITR.

Even though there is no specific time limit or deadline for submitting the request for condonation of delay, it is important to file it as soon as you become aware of any delay in filing or verifying the ITR.

Taxpayers should note that there is no assurance that your condonation request will be accepted. It is solely up to the discretion of the Income Tax Department. If the department deems your reason for the delay to be genuine enough, it may grant you a condonation of the delay.

What if your condonation plea is cancelled?

 

One can file a Updated Income Tax Return in case his or her's condonation plea is rejected. The Centre in the Union Budget 2022 introduced ITR-U or Updated Income Tax Return, under which the taxpayers are allowed to rectify their errors or omissions and update their previous ITR.

It can be filed within two years from the end of the relevant assessment year.

Section 139(8A) of the Income Tax Act provides an opportunity to update your Income Tax Return (ITR) within a two-year period. This two-year period is calculated from the end of the year in which the original return was filed. The introduction of ITR-U aims to enhance tax compliance among taxpayers without triggering legal action.

An Updated Return may be filed under the following circumstances: if the return was not filed or if the return filing deadline was missed, including the belated return deadline. Moreover, if the income stated in the form was inaccurate, taxpayers have the option to file an updated return. This is also applicable if taxpayers selected the incorrect head of income or paid tax at an incorrect rate. Additionally, an updated return can be filed if taxpayers intend to reduce the carried forward loss, decrease the unabsorbed depreciation, or lower the tax credit under section 115JB/115JC.

 

The time limit for filing ITR-U is 24 months from the end of the relevant assessment year. The Return of FY 22-23 (AY 2023-24) can be updated till 31st March 2026.


Financial & Assessment Year   Last date to file ITR-U

FY 20-21 (AY 2021-22)   March 31, 2024
FY 21-22 (AY 2022-23)   March 31, 2025
FY 22-23 (AY 2023-24)   March 31, 2026
FY 23-24 (AY 2024-25)   March 31, 2027

Penalties and late fees

As per Section 234 F of the Income Tax Act, individuals who fail to submit their returns by the specified deadline will be subject to a late filing fee. For taxpayers who miss the due date (July 31), the penalty is set at Rs 5,000.

However, individuals with a total income below Rs 5 lakh will have their penalty reduced to Rs 1,000.

Additionally, interest is levied on belated filings. In case of late filing of return, taxpayers are liable to pay interest under section 234A at the rate of 1% for every month, or part of a month, on the amount of unpaid tax.

In case of Updated Returns, taxpayers will have to pay an additional tax of 25 per cent or 50 per cent on the tax amount, depending on when you file the ITR-U.

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