What is Belated return?
Income tax return that is not furnished on or before the due date specified under Section 139 (1) is referred as belated return. The belated return is filed under section 139(4) of the Act. Also, the belated return can be furnished by a person in case he fails to file a return within the time period allowed under a notice issued under section 142(1).
Belated ITR can be filed either before the completion of the assessment year or by the end of the relevant assessment year.
Penalty on Belated ITR
However some late fee filing charges apply in the case of a belated income tax return or ITR as per Section 234F of the Income Tax Act. Further depending on the extent of delay in filing late ITR, the amount of penalty payable by the taxpayer increases.
Timeline of filing belated ITR Penalty
- ITR filed on or before Dec 31 of the assessment year Rs. 5000
- Between January and March of the relevant assessment year Rs. 10000
Note that interest shall also be charged in case if any tax payment is due under section 234B at the rate of one percent per month. Also, interest under Section 234A for delay in filing return of income at the rate of 1 percent per month shall be charged.
Another point to remember here is that late filing fee under Section 234F shall not be applicable in a case if you are not required to file ITR as per Section 139 but are filing it at your own will after the due date.
Pertinently, section 139 of the Income-tax Act, 1961, provides that every person, other than a company or a firm, is required to furnish ITR by the due date if his total income or the total income of any other person in respect of which he is assessable under this Act exceeded the maximum amount which is not chargeable to income-tax.
So, as per the current slab, individuals aged below 60 years with income up to Rs. 2.5 lakh, senior citizens (60-80 years) with income of up to Rs. 3 lakh and super seniors with income up to Rs. 5 lakh need not pay late filing fee as they are not mandatorily required to file ITR.
Filing Belated ITR for FY 2019-20
In a usual case, the due date to file income tax return for any year is July 31, unless extended by the centre due to some reason. This time owing to the outbreak of the pandemic and the resultant disruption in business activity, the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) extended the due date to file ITR for FY 2019-20 or Assessment year 2020-21 to January 10, 2021. Consequently, late filers who missed this deadline can still file their belated ITR for the FY 2019-20 by at max March 31, 2021 with a penalty of Rs. 10000.
Remember taxpayers with annual income of Rs. 5 lakh will have to shell out Rs. 1000 as late fees for filing return of income after the due date.
Note the process to file a belated return is no different than filing a return of income on or before the due date.
Steps to file belated ITR:
1. Visit the income tax department’s e-filing portal incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in and log in using your credentials. To create your income tax login account, you need to first register using your PAN or Permanent Account Number.
2. Now you need to choose the ITR filing option, select assessment year, form number as well as filing type i.e. whether it is an original return which is being filed or revised.
3. Now, you need to choose ‘ prepare and submit online’. This is typically for ITR 1 and ITR 4. For other forms, there is utility or customized software.
4. For bank refund if any, you need to select the pre-validated bank account where you wish to receive the funds.