It might happen that a person has not filed his return because he was not aware whether he is liable to file income tax return or he was facing genuine hardships in life because of which he could not file his Income tax return within the due time allowed by Income tax return.
Section 139(4) provides the last chance for an assessee to file belated return where before Finance Act, 2017 an assessee could file belated return upto 1 year from the end of relevant assessment year.
However after Finance Act, 2017 one could file belated return only upto end of relevant assessment year and now from Finance Act, 2021 one could file belated return only upto December month of the relevant assessment year.
Thus, the due date for filing belated Income tax return is decreasing and in such case what other option do people have to file their Income tax return after due date if there is any refund of tax or genuine hardship.
One the options available for people facing genuine hardships is to file a physical application under section 119(2)(b) to Commissioner of Income tax or Principal commissioner of Income tax or other authority as mentioned below for allowing condonation in filing Return of Income.
Things to keep in mind while applying for condonation is as follows:
1. The Principal Commissioners of Income-tax/Commissioners of Income-tax (Pr.CsIT/CsIT) shall be vested with the powers of acceptance/rejection of such applications/claims if the amount of such claims is not more than Rs.10 lakhs for any one assessment year.
2. The Principal Chief Commissioners of Income-tax/Chief Commissioners of Income-tax (Pr.CCsIT/CCsIT) shall be vested with the powers of acceptance/rejection of such applications/claims if the amount of such claims exceeds Rs.10 lakhs but is not more than Rs. 50 lakhs for any one assessment year.
3. The applications/claims for amount exceeding Rs.50 lakhs shall be considered by the Board.
4. No condonation application for claim of refund/loss shall be entertained beyond six years from the end of the assessment year for which such application/claim is made.
5. A condonation application should be disposed of within six months from the end of the month in which the application is received by the competent authority, as far as possible.
6. In a case where refund claim has arisen consequent to a Court order, the period for which any such proceedings were pending before any Court of Law shall be ignored while calculating the said period of six years, provided such condonation application is filed within six months from the end of the month in which the Court order was issued or the end of financial year whichever is later.
7. At the time of considering the case under Section 119(2)(b), it shall be ensured that the income/loss declared and/or refund claimed is correct and genuine and also that the case is of genuine hardship on merits.
8. No interest will be admissible on belated claim of refunds.
Thus, condonation should be filed within due time and to appropriate authority and there should be genuine hardship to assessee. Forgot to file return of income might not be a very genuine hardship.
Hence, it is advisable to file the Income tax return every year and within due time.
Further once order u/s 119(2)(b) you can electronically file Income tax return online by choosing to e-filing u/s 119(2)(b) and you need to mention order number of order u/s 119(2)(b) from appropriate authority.
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