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Can I file my income tax return after the deadline? Consequences of late filing of tax return

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Even if your employer has already deducted tax from your monthly salary, the IT Department will only acknowledge it through your Income Tax Return (ITR), hence filing your ITR is important. It is mandatory to file your returns, when your gross total income is more than 5 lakhs or even, if you have a tax refund to claim.

Can I file my income tax return after the deadline? Consequences of Late filing of Return

ITR form contains details about all the incomes earned from multiple sources like salaries, FD interest, income from one house property, income from other sources etc. 

Can I file my income tax return after the deadline?

Yes, you can and it is called a Belated Tax Return. It can be filed before the end of the assessment year i.e. before March 31. Usually, it gives you a breathing space of 8 months, given that you have no taxes dues. But remember, if you file your tax return after the return deadline, you will lose out on certain tax benefits.

Consequences of Filing a “Belated Return”

There is no penalty for filing income tax return after due date for this year i.e. FY 2017-18. You can still file your ITRs until 31st March 2018 in case you miss your due date of 31st July 2017. But from next year, you have to pay a late fee ranging from Rs. 1,000 to Rs. 10,000 depending upon the taxable amount. The major disadvantage of filing a belated return is that you cannot carry forward any losses for the future. Also, in case if you have any tax to be paid, interest of 1% per month shall be levied on the outstanding tax amount. Therefore, it is advisable to file your return on time.

How to file a belated tax return?

The process of filing a belated return is the same as normal tax return and the only difference is, while filling the applicable ITR form you need have to select “Return filed under section 139(4)”.

Remember, since you are filing your ITR after the deadline, you should be very careful while selecting the relevant form and assessment year.

Steps to file your belated tax return

Step 1: Visit the income tax website (link here) and login with your credentials like User ID (PAN), Password, Date of Birth and Captcha Code. 

Step 2: Next, click the ‘e-file’ tab and select the ‘Prepare and submit ITR online’ drop down option.

Step 3: Select the relevant form and assessment year. Once you have entered the required details, you will be re-directed to the ITR form page.

Step 4: While filing the ITR form, remember to select the option for ‘Return filed under section 139(4)’ otherwise the belated tax return won’t be accepted.

Step 5: Next, double check all entered details by selecting ‘Preview and Submit’ option.

Step 6: After submitting your ITR, you must verify your ITR. Your ITR will not be considered valid until it is verified. There are various ways to verify your ITR.

It is always advisable that return should be filed on or before the due date and taxes due should be paid on time to avoid unnecessary penalty and consequences.

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