The income tax (I-T) department has achieved a milestone with over 6.50 crore income-tax returns (ITR) filed as of July 31. However, many individuals missed the deadline to file their returns.
If you missed filing ITR on the previous deadline, i.e. 31st July, don’t worry; you can still file your ITR after the due date. But be prepared to pay penalties and interest on the due taxes. There are a few limitations associated with filing a belated return.
Key Highlights of ITR Filed After the Due Date
- Last date to file a belated ITR for AY 2023-24 is December 31, 2023.
- ITR late filing penalty has been increased to Rs 10,000 if total income exceeds Rs 5 lakh, up to Rs 1,000 for income less than Rs 5 lakh.
- Belated returns can be filed three months before the end of the relevant assessment year or before the completion of the assessment, whichever comes earlier.
- Interest on due taxes applies for late filing, starting from the first instalment of advance tax until the end of the financial year.
- Preserve tax-related documents for up to 10 years, as the I-T department can reopen the case if unreported income or unpaid taxes are found.
ITR filed After the Due Date of July 31
According to the Income Tax Act 1961, the due date for filing tax returns is July 31, the relevant assessment year for most assesses. However, certain entities, like companies and individuals whose accounts need auditing, have different due dates.
Missed Filing ITR? File Belated Return
If you missed the July 31 deadline, you can file a belated return under Section 139(4) of the Income-tax Act. You have the option to submit the belated return either up to three months before the end of the relevant AY- assessment year or before the completion of the AY- assessment, whichever occurs first.
Penalty for Late Filing ITR
Under the new section 234F, if you file your income tax return after the due date, there will be a late filing fee. The late fee for ITR depends on when you submit the return.
- If you file the return on or before the 31st day of December of the assessment year, the fee is Rs 5,000.
- However, if you file the return after the 31st day of December of the assessment year, the fee increases to Rs 10,000.
- But don’t worry if your total income is less than Rs 5 lakh because, in that case, the fee will be limited to a maximum of Rs 1,000.
Penal Interest on Due Taxes
Delay in filing tax returns also incurs interest if income taxes are due. Interest starts from the first instalment of advance tax and is applied monthly until the end of the financial year. To avoid interest charges, experts always recommend filing your tax return early, between April 1 and July 31, every financial year.
How Long to Preserve Tax-Related Documents
After filing your income tax return, you should keep all the documents related to income, expenses, and deductions claimed. The I-T department may pick your return for assessment and scrutiny within three months from the end of the financial year.
The I-T department can reopen the case even after several years if they find unreported income or unpaid taxes. It is recommended to maintain books of accounts for up to 10 years in such cases.
Disclaimer: Investments in the securities market are subject to market risks; read all the related documents carefully before investing.