Meaning of Belated Return
As per section 139(1), it is compulsory for every assesses to file a return of income or loss for every previous year on or before the due date in the prescribed form in the following situations:
- Your gross total income (before allowing any deductions under section 80C to 80u) exceeds the income tax slabs i.e. Rs. 2.5 lakh (Rs. 3 lakhs for resident senior citizens and 5 lakh for resident super senior citizens).
- You are a company or a firm irrespective of whether you have income or loss during the financial year.
- You want to claim any income tax refund.
- You want to carry forward certain losses.
- You have exempt long term capital gains from – sale of equity shares in a company or sale of unit of equity oriented mutual funds, or sale of unit of business trust, of more than Rs 2,50,000 in a financial year. Even though these gains are exempt from tax, such persons have to mandatorily file an income tax return.
- Return filing is mandatory if you are a Resident individual and have an asset or financial interest in an entity located outside of India. (Not applicable to NRIs or RNORs)
- Or if you are a Resident and a signing authority in a foreign account. (Not applicable to NRIs or RNORs)
- You are required to file an income tax return when you are in receipt of income derived from property held under a trust for charitable or religious purposes or a political party or a research association, news agency, educational or medical institution, trade union, a not for profit university or educational institution, a hospital, infrastructure debt fund, any authority, body or trust.
- If you are a foreign company taking treaty benefit on a transaction in India
- A proof of return filing may also be required at the time of applying for a loan or a visa.
If an individual fails to file the income tax return by the due date, then as per section 139(4) of the income tax he can file a Belated Return. Returns filed after the due date are referred to as ‘Belated Returns’.
The Penalty for Late Filing of Belated Return
Though you are allowed to file a belated return starting FY 2017-18 (i.e. AY 2018-19) following penalty (mandatory late filing fees) would be required to be paid in case of late filing of return u/s 234F.
|If the Income is less than Rs 5 lakhs
|If the Income is more than Rs 5 lakhs
Belated return filed before 31st December
Belated return filed after 31st December
Interest u/s 234A for Late Filing
If a belated return is filed after the income tax due date, the taxpayer would be liable to pay tax along with interest @ 1% per month (simple interest) under section 234A. In case no tax is payable, the taxpayer won’t be liable to pay any interest for filing belated return of income tax after due date.
Consequences of Late Filing of Return
Delay in filing the return of income may attract certain adverse consequences. Following are the consequences of delay in filing the return of income:
- Loss (other than loss under the head “Income from residence property”) cannot be carried forward.
- Exemptions/deductions under sections 10A, 10B, 80-IA, 80-IAB, 80-IB, 80-IC, 80-ID and 80-IE are not available.
- Levy of fee under section 234F.
- Levy of interest under section 234A.