If you fail to file ITR by due date, you will be penalised, even get jailed

Mumbai: The deadline for filing Income Tax Returns is July 31. As the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has issued a notice dated June 4, 2019 extending the due date for employers to file their TDS returns from June 30 to July 10, there could be a delay in issuing Form-16 to employees. But that shouldn’t become a reason for you to file tax return in the last minute, particularly in case you already have all the specified documents.

Keep in mind that if you fail to file your ITR by the due date, you will have to pay a fine and face certain restrictions after you file belated return.

Belated filing return

In case you fail to file the ITR by the given due date, you can still file belated return by March 31. So, the belated return can be filed till March 31, 2020 or before the completion of assessment by the income tax department, whichever is earlier.

A penalty of Rs 5,000 will be imposed in case the ITR is filed after the due date but before December 31, 2019. In case, the ITR is filed after December 31, 2019, the penalty would be Rs 10,000. For those assesses, whose annual earnings are less than Rs 5 lakh, the penalty is limited to Rs 1000.

The penalty and tax should be paid before you file your belated ITR. Keep in mind that you simply can’t elude paying fine on belated return.

Other issues

Other than paying fine, you may also be charged with interest on due taxes, until you file your ITR. Also, you will not be allowed to carry forward certain losses to ensuing years for set-off, in case of belated ITRs.

In case, a tax refund is due to you and you file the ITR within the given period of time, you will get interest on the refund claim.

A refund is claimed when excess tax is paid on your income during the year as per Section 244A of the Income-tax Act, 1961. However, in case of belated returns, you will lose the said interest.

Though, the Income Tax Act is a civil law, the law does provide for prosecution proceedings which are initiated in the rarest of rare circumstances. In case, you fail to file your ITR, the income tax department may send you a notice and you could be jailed for a period of minimum three months which could be extended to two years. The jail-term could be extended to seven years if your tax due is more than Rs 25 lakh.

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