ITR Filing: The income tax law prescribes the due date for filing of income tax returns by taxpayers. Different due dates are prescribed for different taxpayers.
ITR Filing for AY 2019-20: The due date for filing your income tax return (ITR) is around the corner. You will need to file your ITR for the AY 2019-20 by 31 August 2019. An ITR filed after the due date is called ‘belated return’. You can file a belated return after the due date, till 31 March 2020. Therefore, you can file an ITR only for the ongoing assessment year. We explain to you the law on the time period allowed for filing an ITR.
The income tax law prescribes the ‘due date’ for filing of income tax returns by taxpayers. Different due dates are prescribed for different taxpayers. For taxpayers who are not subject to audit, such as salaried and small business taxpayers, the due date is 31 August 2019 (extended from 31 July). For taxpayers who are subject to audit, the due date is 30 September 2019. Taxpayers are required to file within the due date to avoid late filing fees.
The taxpayers can file a belated return until the end of the assessment year or completion of the assessment, whichever is earlier. For example, for the AY 2019-20 (corresponding to FY 2018-19), a belated return can be filed until 31 March 2020. However, in a case where you file after the due date, you have to pay a late filing fee of Rs 5,000. The late fee is Rs 10,000 for ITR filed after 31 December 2019 up to till 31 March 2020.
Also, do keep in mind that you are entitled to file a belated return (a return filed after the due date) only if your income-tax assessment has not been concluded by the assessing officer. An income-tax assessment may be made through a notice issued by the assessing officer where your income and taxes are determined through assessment proceedings.
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The Finance Act, 2016 had amended the law on the filing of belated returns restricting the time to 31 March of the assessment year. Earlier, until AY 2016-17, ITR could be filed anytime on or before 1 year from the end of the relevant Assessment Year. From AY 2017-18, taxpayers can file a belated return only until the end of the assessment year. Thus, taxpayers can now file ITR only for the current assessment year until the end of the assessment year. The table below depicts the tax filing due dates and time period available for filing ITR:
Thus, from AY 2017-18 you can file ITR only for the current assessment year. If you omit to file your return by the end of the assessment year, you will not be able to file the ITR online. However, in a case where you are eligible for an exemption or refund or deduction or carry forward of loss, you can file a letter for condonation of delay with the income-tax commissioner. The income tax authorities may allow such claims if they are genuine, where the taxpayer could not genuinely make them within the assessment year. The application for condonation can be made up to 6 years from the end of the assessment year.
(The author is the Founder & CEO, Cleartax)