scorecardMissed filing your tax returns? Here’s what you pay in late fee & penalties
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Missed filing your tax returns? Here’s what you pay in late fee & penalties

Taxpayers in India were required to file their income tax returns (ITRs) for the financial year 2021-2022 (assessment year or AY:2022-2023) by July 31, 2022. While there were a few extensions of the ITR filing deadline over the past few years due to Covid-19 pandemic, Revenue Secretary Tarun Bajaj said earlier in July that the government had no plans to extend the July 31 deadline.

Throughout the month of July 2022, the Income Tax Department has been sending reminders urging the taxpayers to file their ITR before the deadline and not to wait till the last date to avoid the heavy rush on the ITR filing portal.

The Income Tax Department’s Twitter account said on July 31, that till 1 pm on the day, 19,53,581 ITRs were filed – of which 4,67,902 were filed during the last one hour. As of July 30, over 5.10 crore ITRs were filed. More than 57.51 lakh ITRs were filed on July 30 alone.

During each assessment year, the government gives a four-month window to the taxpayers to consolidate their income details for the given financial year before filing their ITR. This four-month period begins on April 1 and ends on July 31, provided there has not been any extension in the said year.

ITR filing has now been simplified to such an extent that it takes only a few minutes to file, thanks to the features provided on the ITR filing portal. Not filing the ITR before the deadline will invite some fines, penalties and consequences, which we will discuss here.

What are the penalties and fines for late filing of ITR?

Sl. No.

ITR filing category

Due date

1

ITR filing for persons and entities for which tax audit is not applicable

July 31, 2022

2

ITR filing for persons and entities covered under tax audit (other than the cases in which transfer pricing is involved)

October 31, 2022

3

ITR filing for persons covered under transfer pricing

November 31, 2022

4

Last date for filing revised ITR returns and late filing of ITR for FY 2021-22

December 31, 2022


Since the government had no plans to extend the ITR filing deadline, late filing after the July 31 deadline in 2022 will attract a fine up to ₹5,000, if the filing is done before December 31, 2022.

Section 234F of the Income Tax Act says that late filing of income tax returns after the due date of July 31 will invite a late fee of ₹5,000 if your annual income is above ₹5 lakh, provided you file your ITR by December 31 of the same assessment year.

This late fee fine can go up to ₹10,000 if you file your ITR after December 31 but before March 31, 2023.

Section 234F also says that individuals who have not filed their ITR before March 31 will be liable to a late fee of ₹1,000, if the income slab is below ₹5 lakh. The late fee remains unchanged even if the filing is made before December 31 of this year.

Section 234A of the Income Tax Act says that if a person has not filed the ITR before the due date and if there is an outstanding tax to be paid, then the amount outstanding will be charged at 1% per month from the due date prescribed.

If an individual with a taxable income has not filed the ITR or if the income is understated in the returns, he or she is liable to pay a fine of 50% of the total tax that is applicable on the income for which return was not furnished.

Summary of Section 234F

Sl. No.

ITR filing category

Late fee for filing up to July 31, 2022

Late fee for filing from August 1, 2022 to December 31, 2022

1

Persons whose total income is below ₹5,00,000 per annum

Nil

₹1,000

2

Persons whose total income is above ₹5,00,000 per annum

Nil

₹5,000


What to do if you have not filed the ITR for the previous financial year?

With a late fee, you can file your ITR for FY2021-22 (AY 2022-23) till March 31, 2023. If you have missed out filing ITR within this deadline, you need to apply for condonation of delay and then file the ITR online.

Condonation of delay can be applied for through the e-filing portal of the Income Tax Department. Follow the steps below to do this.

  • Log in to your account on the IT e-filing website.
  • Scroll the mouse on the ‘Services’ tab and click on ‘Condonation Request’.
  • Select the option, ‘Allow ITR filing after time barred’. Click on the ‘Continue’ button.
  • On the next page, click on ‘Create Condonation Request’.
  • Fill in all the columns with the relevant details. After uploading the ITR, click on ‘Submit’.
Once you have submitted the ITR successfully, choose the option, ‘e-verify’. Once the condonation request is approved, the ITR will be processed. You can also track the status of the condonation request you have sent.

Alternatively, you may also find out who is your assessing officer to submit a condonation of delay request letter in person and then do the ITR filing online.

Refund

Filing ITR on time is essential if you want to claim an income tax refund from the IT department; if you have made foreign asset investments during the financial year; if you want to apply for a loan or visa; or if you are an entity making either profit or loss. Since late filing of ITR can invite a number of consequences you will want to avoid, it is necessary that you keep track of the ITR filing deadline year on year and file the ITR on time.

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