Due date for filing Income tax return in India for any financial year is generally 31st July of the next financial year.
Say for example the due date for filing Income tax return in relation to Financial year (FY) ending on 31st March 2021 was 31.07.2021 in case where no tax audit or any other audit is required.
However, due to Covid and other restriction the due date was continuously getting postponed and it was finally kept at 31.12.2021.
Looking at the current situation of Covid and due to various issues with Income tax portal many people thought that the due date would further increase from 31.12.2021. However, Income tax department or ministry of Finance did not increase the due date further.
Hence, now the due date for filing Income tax return under section 139(1) has lapsed for people who are not getting their books of accounts audited and for partner of such firm.
So let’s discuss can people still file their Income tax return or not and what will happen if you file your Income tax return now and what benefits you need to let go now.
1. Can you still file Income tax return for FY 2020-21 after 31.12.2021?
Ans: Yes you can still file your Income tax return for FY 2020-21 till 31.03.2022 but you will have to loose various benefits which we shall discuss in upcoming points.
2. Under which section will one have to file their Income tax return?
Ans: If a person has missed the deadline of 31.12.2021 for filing their return of income they will have to now file their income tax return under section 139(4) instead of section 139(1) of the Income tax act.
3. What is the late fees or charges for filing Income tax return after 31.12.2021?
Ans: As per Section 234F of the Income Tax Act, one would be charged a late fees of Rs. 1,000 if total income is below Rs. 5 lakh and Rs. 5,000 [reduced from 10,000 w.e.f. Finance Act, 2021] if total income is above Rs. 5 lakh. However no late fees shall be charged if total income of individual is below taxable limit of Rs. 2.5 lakh but be careful as Income tax department many a times charges late fees on such Income Tax return also.
4. Can you carry forward losses if you file belated Income tax return under section 139(4)?
Ans: If a person files it’s Income tax return under section 139(4) of the Income tax Act, they cannot carry forward any losses and this is a major loss for a person filing belated return and many people who do share trading or such other small businesses are not aware of this benefit and many a times they loose such benefit due to lack of knowledge.
However, any loss incurred because of Interest on home loan can still be carried forward in belated Income tax return as same is covered under section 71B of the Income tax return.
5. Can one opt for new regime of tax payment/ calculation under section 115BAC after 31.12.2021?
Ans: As per sub-section 5 of section 115BAC one cannot opt for benefit of section 115BAC if the option is not exercised before due date mentioned in section 139(1) of the Income tax Act.
Other than above there are some other minor benefits related to special deduction under section 80-IC to 80RRB etc which are not available if return and various forms are not filed within due time mentioned under section 139(1).
However, even after discussing so many losses of late filing of Income tax return it is still advisable to file your Income tax return because there are many benefits also if you still file Income tax return after due date such as maintaining continuity of filing income tax return and claiming interest on house loan, its loss etc and also to avoid any notices from Income tax department.
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