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Why you should file belated ITR, correct ITR errors before March 31

Once this opportunity is missed, then you will not be able to file your ITR for FY 2018-19. In such a case you will be able to file the ITR only in response to a notice or apply to the income tax department for permission to file the ITR if a refund is due.

, ET Online|
Last Updated: Mar 24, 2020, 10.14 AM IST
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If the deadline of March 31, 2020 to file belated ITR is missed due to a genuine reason, then individuals who have refunds due can file their belated ITR.
If you have not filed your income tax return (ITR) for the financial year 2018-19 yet, then you should hurry up. This is because the last date to file belated income tax return for FY2018-19 is March 31, 2020. Further, if you made a mistake while filing your ITR for FY2018-19, then the deadline to rectify the error (by filing a revised return) is also March 31, 2020.

The Income Tax Department, through its Twitter handle, has been reminding taxpayers not to delay filing their ITRs any longer. On March 12, the department tweeted about how to file belated ITR via its e-filing portal in three steps.


Dr Suresh Surana, Founder, RSM India, says, "It is important that individual taxpayers who have to file belated ITR or revised tax return for FY 2018-19 should do it before the deadline of 31st March 2020, as after that they will not be able to file tax returns for FY 2018-19. Also, the e-filing website of income tax department does not support any filing of a tax return for FY 2018-19 after that date."

Therefore, once you miss this opportunity, then you will not be able to file your ITR for FY 2018-19 in the normal course. In such a case you will be able to file the ITR only in response to a notice or apply to the income tax department for permission to file the ITR if a refund is due.

  • Penalty for belated ITR filing
Individuals while filing belated ITR will be required to pay late filing fees. According to the Income-tax Act, 1961, late filing fees of Rs 10,000 will be levied if the ITR is filed between January 1, 2020 and March 31, 2020. However, if the total income does not exceed Rs 5 lakh, then a maximum late filing fee of Rs 1,000 will be levied.

However, in case of revised return, no such penalty will be levied.

  • Consequences of not filing ITR/correct ITR
If an individual does not file ITR, then there are certain penal consequences he/she will be liable for. Dr Surana says, "An individual can be prosecuted under section 276CC of the Act with imprisonment and fine for wilful failure/default in filing the income tax return."

Abhishek Soni, CEO & founder, Tax2win.in, an ITR filing website, says, "In case you have not reported any income at the time of filing ITR and this unreported income is later discovered by the Income Tax Department, then later a penalty of 50 per cent /200 per cent for under-reporting /mis-reporting of income, as the case may be, will be leviable on you."

Therefore, you must file belated/revised ITR as applicable to you.

  • Relief for certain taxpayers for belated ITR filing
If the deadline of March 31, 2020 to file belated ITR is missed due to a genuine reason, then individuals who have refunds due can file their belated ITR. Soni says, "The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) in a circular dated June 9, 2015 has allowed the filing of belated tax return even after the due date (i.e., after March 31, 2020 for F.Y. 2018-19) in case a refund is due and ITR could not be filed due to genuine hardship. In such a scenario, an individual will be first required to file application to the income tax department to allow him to file ITR. However, such an application must be filed within six years of the end of assessment year i.e. March 31, 2020. "
Click here for all the information and analysis you need for tax-saving this financial year

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