If you are among those individuals who couldn’t file the Income Tax Returns for FY2022-2023 by the due date of July 31, 2023, for some reason, here is a chance to file a belated one before December 31, 2023, with a penalty.
So don’t wait till this final deadline expires, as it may invite legal proceedings against you by the income tax department, besides more fines and penalties. According to the Income Tax Department, over 6.5 crore returns were filed within the deadline, including many incomplete returns, due to reasons like the selection of wrong forms or failure to verify.
So, here’s how to file a belated income tax return (ITR).
How To File A Belated ITR
Filing a belated return is similar to filing your regular ITR.
Taxpayers can file returns for the financial year 2022-2023 (Assessment Year 2023-2024) until December 31, 2023. Instead of section 139(4), you must select section 139(1) to file the returns for FY2022-23 or AY2023-24, as per the income tax department’s website.
You will also need to pay a penalty of Rs 1,000 if your annual income is less than Rs 5 lakh and Rs 5,000 if it is more than that under Section 234F. This fee is reported under “Fee for default in furnishing return of income (section 234F)” in “Part B – TTI – Computation of Tax Liability on Total Income” of belated ITR with payment challan details in “Schedule IT”.
Further, under Section 234A of the Income-tax Act, 1961, an additional interest charge of one per cent per month or part thereof applies on the taxes due until payment. The interest is reported in “Part B – TTI”, in the column “Interest for default in furnishing the return (section 234A)”.
The rest of the process is the same. Check here:
You can avoid legal actions even if you file a belated ITR, but there are some drawbacks. For instance, you cannot carry forward business and capital losses to next year, except for “losses from house property”. As mentioned, a delayed ITR will cost you Rs 1,000 to Rs 5,000.
Importance of Proper ITR Filing
Failing to report income accurately or underreporting your income can result in penalties of up to 200 per cent of the tax on misreported income. Filing timely tax returns is crucial for loan and international travel applications, as many countries require previous tax returns for issuing visas.
It is also crucial for refunds on excess tax paid. In willful failure to file returns despite notices, the income tax officer can initiate legal proceedings, leading to imprisonment and fines.