Can I file Income Tax Return after 31st December, 2021

Can I file Income Tax Return after 31st December 2021?

Oh no! You missed the deadline of filing Income Tax Return by 31st December, 2021 and now you are worried as to what to do next? Don’t worry, even if you missed the last date for filing of ITR, you can still file it till 31st March, 2022.

How can you file you ITR by 31st March, 2022?

The due date for filing of Income Tax Return for persons whose accounts are not required to be audited is generally 31st July for each financial year. However, this date was extended to 31st August, 2021 and thereafter, to 31st December, 2021. If persons fail to submit the ITR by the due date, they can still file it by 31 March, 2022 – which is the last date for filing of Income Tax Return.

From the above, it can be inferred that there is a difference between the due date and last date for filing of Income Tax Return. While the due date for filing of ITR was 31st December, 2021 and the last date for filing of ITR is 31st March, 2022.

Consequences of filing ITR after the due date but before the last date

If the person files his return after the due date but before the last date, he has to bear some consequences, which are as follows:
– No carrying forward of the losses
– Refund cannot be claimed
– Late fees

Recommended Read: What happens if you do not verify your ITR within 120 days?

No carrying forward of the losses

In case the person fails to file his ITR by the due date, then he will have to forego the right to carry forward any losses for the current year and the same cannot be set off against current year’s income.

So in case if you have losses, under the head “business income” or “capital gains” or “loss beyond two lakhs rupees under the house property head”, during the current year and which you are otherwise entitled to carry forward for set off in subsequent years, you will not be able to do so if you have missed the due date i.e., 31st December, 2021 deadline. 

Refund cannot be claimed

If the person files his Income Tax Return on or before the due date, then he is entitled to get the tax refund for the excesses tax paid. However, if the person file his return after the due date but before the last date, then he loses his right to get interest on such excess taxes paid. On the other hand, in case the taxes paid by the person or on his behalf are lower than his aggregate tax liability, in addition to the interest for such shortfall, he will also have to pay interest for the period of delay in submitting the ITR even if he has already paid the shortfall after 31st March 2021.

Late fees

In addition to the above consequences, the person will have to mandatorily pay late fees at the time of filing of Income Tax Return. The late fees liability is dependent on the taxable income of the person. If the taxable income is less than Rs. 5,00,000 then late fees is charged at a flat rate of Rs. 1,000 and if the taxable income is more than Rs. 5,00,000, then late fees of Rs. 5,000 is charged.

Further, even when there is no tax payable, late fee of Rs. 1,000 is charged for filing of ITR after the due date for income below Rs. 5,00,000 and Rs. 5,000 in case of income above Rs. 5,00,000. This can happen when your gross total income exceeds threshold of  basic exemption limit applicable to you but does not exceed five lakhs and no tax is payable due to rebate available under Section 87A. This may also happen when you have to file an ITR due to owning of any assets outside India or  you being a signatory to any account outside India or for  having spent on electricity or foreign travel beyond specified threshold limit. 

Late Fees on Filing of Income Tax Return after the due date i.e., 31st December, 2021

What happens if you fail to file ITR even by the last date?

If the person fails to file ITR by the last date (March 31, 2022), the Income Tax Department can even change a minimum penalty that can be upto 50% of the tax which could have been avoided by filing ITR on time.

Further, the Income Tax Act allows a minimum sentence of 3 years of imprisonment and a maximum of 7 years in case the amount of tax sought to be avoided exceeds Rs 10,000.

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