Though IT department has always specified the due dates of filing IT returns for any financial year, but knowing the fact many of us miss to file it by the D-Day. I personally feel 95% cases; it’s the fault of assessee (taxpayer) who keeps it in mind to do it at the last moment and finally situation become so chaotic that he/she gives up. Still he/she have a little hope that the date may get extended..!! What if, it doesn’t or even if it does then what is the chance that again in the short span of time the filing will be done. The obvious reason is lack of proper planning and reluctant attitude towards personal financial matters.
There may be one of the situations where you do not get your Form 16 from the employer(s) for the previous financial year on time due to some technical issues or any other genuine reason. But remember! These genuine reasons are not accepted by the IT department.
Anyways the saying goes “Let Bygones, Be Bygones”. What’s next!!
In this article I am just trying to pacify the concerns of those taxpayers who missed their filing on time and waiting for any solution. Any taxpayer who missed to file his/her returns on time have various situation, such as;
Situation 1: Filed the returns on time, but found mistake(s) after the due date is over:
Many a time it has happened that you did your returns filing on or before the due date, but later you come to know that some income might got missed to declared, error in computation of total income, instead of getting some refund you are actually liable to pay an vice versa. Don’t worry, here tax depart behave leniently with you and gives you a chance to file a revised return of income coming two financial years. For eg: If you filed your returns by July 31st, 2013 (Fyi AY2013-14, the due date was extended till August 5, 2013), but today i.e. August 6, 2013 you suddenly found there is some mistake in computation of taxable income. In such case you can file revised returns up to March 31, 2015. Point to be noted here, in case you make a mistake while filing taxes after this date, you cannot file a revised return for that particular assessment year.
Situation 2: You could not file returns on time and you have no some tax liabilities to pay:
In a situation where you have paid taxes in the form of TDS or advance tax and you don’t owe any more to the tax department. This indicates you are in a safe zone. The Income Tax return for any assessment year can be filed till the end of that assessment year without any penalty. If it is filed after the end of the assessment year, there is a lump sum penalty of Rs. 5,000 by the AO (Assessing Officer). For eg:, for the current assessment year 2013-14, you missed the deadline, then you can file the belated return till march 31, 2014 without any penalty. However, if the return is filed after March 31, 2014, then you will be subject to a penalty of Rs. 5,000, which is dependent upon the discretion of the AO. In many cases it has been noticed that the fine is usually not levied. But this doesn’t mean that you should take a chance 🙂
Situation 3: You could not file returns on time and you have some tax liabilities to pay:
This is not a comfort zone at all. There is an interest penalty @ 1.25% per month for filing taxes post due date. This means, the more you delay, the more you pay as interest in addition to actual tax liability. Let us understand how much extra you may get penalised in the form of addition interest for non payment of tax liability on time.
Example: After all computation you found there is a tax liability of Rs. 1,50,000 for FY 2012-13. Your employer has deducted TDS deducted by employer Rs. 55,000 for the same financial years 2012-13. You have also made Rs. 20,000 as advance tax payment and Rs. 15,000 under self assessment tax. Finally your net tax liability comes Rs. 60,000.
Suppose you file the return on October 30, 2013 which is before the end of the assessment year 2013-14. In this case you would be filing the return 3 months late, thus your net tax liability will increased with interest for 3 months. Finally the tax payable would be Rs. 62,250 [Rs. 60,000 + 3.75% on Rs.60,000]. Since the tax payble is more than Rs. 10,000, you will have to pay additional interest for short/late payment of advance tax under section 234.
What if, you missed to file by the end of the AY 2013-14 (i.e. by March 31, 2014)? Let’s say you file your return on June 10, 2014. In such case, he will liable to a penalty of Rs. 5,000 along with the penalty of 1.25% on balance tax payable for 11 months (August, 2013 to June, 2014). Thus, the tax payable would increase to Rs. 73,250 [Rs. 60,000 + 13.75% of Rs. 60,000 + Rs. 5,000]. This will also include interest for short/late payment of advance tax as indicated above.
Situation 4: In case you have any losses to be carried forward:
The worst part comes here. Whatever may be the situation whether you have any tax liability or not, if you don’t file your income tax return by deadline then you cannot carry forward the loss of that particular financial year. This indicates you lose the benefit of set off of these losses against the income of next year. However, there is an exception to this rule i.e. this rule doesn’t apply to loss from house property, which means this loss can be carried forward even if the income tax return is filed after the deadline.
Situation 5: In case you have some refund to be received:
Not a matter of concern. In such situation you can file returns by March 31st next year. But the problem here is that your return may be processed late which may delay the refund process as there many case in past took a lot of life time to release the refund amount. If you are lucky, your refund may process before expected time limit.
Some Important Points & Suggestion:
- Do not always keep a hope that there will be any date extension of due dates. Have an attitude of what if it doesn’t.
- Starting from April 1, start gathering data required for filing, so that you have enough time to avoid the plight of running from pillar to post situation at the last moment.
- Plan in advance will help you to arrange funds in case you have huge tax liabilities to pay.
- Remember! Belated return (Return filed after the due date) cannot be revised.
- Keep your income tax login password memorised/recorded, so that you should not end up in searching different ways on how to rest login password.
- Never assume any heads or sections while filling up ITR form. Be accurate and enter the right data for which you have supporting documents to produce later if required.
- Always take the help of experts while filing returns in case you have complex situation of calculation. Small professional fee may ensure a sound sleep at least.