A Return of income which has not been furnished on or before the due date specified under section 139(1) is called belated return.
The last date for filing the income tax return (ITR) for the assessment year 2019-20 was August 31, 2019, after it had got extended from July 31. However, for those who have not filed ITR within the due date, a delay in filing ITR comes at a cost. If you have missed ITR filing deadline, then as per the rules, one can still file a Belated Return but will have to pay a fine for late filing. For filing ITR on or before December 31, the fine is Rs 5,000, while for filing ITR by March 31, 2020, then the late fee amount doubles. One should, therefore, file ITR on time to avoid any penalty.
One can file the ITR for the relevant assessment year till the end of the year i.e. by March 31, however, filing ITR after the last date will come with penalties. Such a penalty for not filing ITR on time will be levied even after one does not have any unpaid taxes.
Under the income tax laws, a failure to file ITR attracts penalty as the filing of ITR is mandatory for every tax assessee who has a taxable income. Even if the tax has been collected through TDS as in the case of a salaried employee, filing of ITR is compulsory. Therefore, if one fails to furnish the ITR within the due date, there will be a fine and the assessee will be penalized.
If a person who is required to submit ITR under section 139 but fails to do so within the time prescribed, then he or she has to not only pay interest on the tax due, if there is any but also pay a late filing fee. From the assessment year 2018-19, the fee as per section 234F is required to be paid if the return is furnished after the due date.
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The fee for default in furnishing return of income is:
- Rs. 5000 if the return is furnished on or before the 31st day of December of the assessment year;
- Rs. 10,000 in any other case
However, the late filing fee will be subject to the following two conditions:
- The late filing fee shall not exceed Rs. 1000 if the total income of an assessee does not exceed Rs. 5 lakh.
- And, one who is not required to file ITR but still files ITR voluntarily after the due date will not require to pay the fine.
The filing of ITR after the date but before the end of the relevant assessment year is called Belated Return. A Return of income which has not been furnished on or before the due date specified under section 139(1) is called belated return. So, now all the late filers need to decide whether to file ITR before December by paying a fee of Rs 5,000 or still wait till March 31, 2020, to pay double of that amount in the filing of ITR.