The annual Income Tax Return (ITR) filing season in India is an important obligation for taxpayers, requiring them to submit their financial details to the government by a specific due date. For the financial year 2022-23, the due date for filing ITR was set at July 31, 2023. Failing to meet this deadline can lead to penalties and other repercussions. However, if you missed the deadline, there is still hope. You can file a belated ITR, but it’s crucial to comprehend the process and its consequences. The deadline to file a belated return is December 31, 2023, offering taxpayers a second chance to fulfill their tax obligations if they miss the original due date. This extension is a relief for individuals and businesses facing various challenges that prevent them from filing their returns on time.
A belated ITR is an income tax return filed after the original due date. In India, the original due date for filing ITR for most taxpayers is July 31st of the assessment year. For the financial year 2022-23, the assessment year would be 2023-24. If you couldn’t file your ITR by the due date, you have the option to file a belated return.
Points to remember when Filing a Belated ITR
1. Penalties: Filing a belated ITR leads to financial consequences. If you file a belated return, you may be liable to pay a late filing fee of up to ₹1,000 for individuals with an income of more than Rs. 2.5 lakhs up to Rs. 5 lakhs, and a late fee of Rs. 5,000 for those with an income of more than 5 lakhs. The exact penalty amount depends on various factors, including your total income and the delay in filing.
2. Interest on unpaid Tax: Filing a belated ITR may result in interest charges if you have any outstanding tax liabilities. The longer you delay, the more interest you may have to pay on the pending tax amount.
3. Delay Refunds: If you are eligible for a tax refund, filing your return late can also delay the receipt of any refund owed to you.
Steps by step instructions to File a Belated ITR
If you missed the deadline and need to file a belated ITR, follow these steps:
1. Gather all documents: Collect all the necessary financial documents, including your Form 16, bank statements, and investment details.
2. Visit the Income Tax website: Go to the official Income Tax e-filing website (https://www.incometax.gov.in) and log in or register if you haven’t already.
3. Choose the right ITR Form: Choose the correct ITR form that corresponds to your income sources and type of income.
4. Fill in all information: Complete the ITR form with accurate information, including your income, deductions, and tax payable.
5. Calculate and Pay tax: If you have any tax dues, calculate the amount and pay it online through the portal.
6. Submit and Verify: After filling in the form, submit it on the portal. You will receive an acknowledgment in the form of an ITR-V (Verification) that needs to be e-verified through Aadhaar or Bank OTP.
7. Keep Records: Maintain copies of all documents and acknowledgments for future reference.
Filing a belated ITR after the July 31, 2023 deadline is possible, but it can come with fines, interest, and delays in getting refunds. Ideally, file your ITR on time to avoid these issues. But if you’ve missed the deadline, act quickly to fulfill your tax responsibilities as best you can.