The last date of income tax return filing for the financial year 2019-20 was January 10, 2021. The income tax department has rejected requests for further extension of the due date for filing tax returns in an official order.
In the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, the deadline was extended multiple times. This year, it was extended three times. The last date for filing the income tax return is generally on July 31 of the assessment year (AY).
An income tax return filed after the due date is known as belated return. You still have the time to file a late or belated ITR, if you haven’t filed your tax return even now.
In case you are filing a belated return, you will have to pay a late filing penalty. The penalty will be Rs 10,000 as the last date was extended beyond December 31.
Every year the last date for filing income tax return is July 31 of the relevant assessment year. A flat penalty of Rs 5,000 is levied when you file belated returns till December 31 of the assessment year in case you miss the ITR due date and in case return is filed between December 31 and March 31 of the assessment year Rs 10,000 is levied.
A penalty of Rs 1,000 is applicable in case of filing belated ITR till March 31 for small taxpayers with income of up to Rs 5 lakh. The penalty along with the due tax needs to be paid before you submit your belated ITR. Irrespective of whether any tax is due or not remember that you can’t escape paying penalty on belated return.
You are also supposed to pay interest on due taxes each month until you file ITR besides paying a penalty. You will also not be allowed to carry forward certain losses to subsequent years for set-off.
You can earn interest on the refund claimed, if any tax refund is due and the ITR is filed within the stipulated time. As per Section 244A of the Income-tax Act, 1961, A refund is claimed when excess tax is paid on your income during the year.
You may lose some portion of interest that would be due on the refund amount as interest will be paid from the date of filing of return in case of belated returns. Interest on the refund due is paid from April 1, in case you file your return within the due date.
The tax department can send you a notice and it can even lead to prosecution if you fail to file your ITR at all. There is a provision of jail term from three months to two years if you fail to file your ITR. The jail term can be up to seven years if the due tax is more than Rs 25 lakh.