January 22, 2010

How to Miss your Income Tax Returns (ITR) Deadline

Did you miss your deadline for filing the tax return by 31st July? Most of us pay the taxes before the deadline of 31st Mar, but when it comes to filing the return we are lazy people and many times we make mistakes in hurry. However very less people know that even if you have missed the deadline to file your Income Tax Returns, there is no need to panic, as when it comes to filing of your income tax returns, tax laws are not so stringent. In this article, tax implication will be explained considering all the scenarios. You being a salaried person may have missed the filing of your tax returns if you have an income on which all the taxes have been deducted or have been deposited by way of advance tax, no need to panic. There should be no additional penalty or interest for not filing the return by July 31, 2009, provided you act now. You still have the time to file your return of income for the assessment year 2009-10 till March 31-2011.
See the basics of how tax is calculated.


  • However, persons who have any Business or Capital loss to be carried forward may have a cause to worry as the said loss would not be allowed to be carried forward to next year if the return of income is not filed before the due date.
  • If you still have any outstanding taxes to be paid (after deducting TDS and Advance taxes paid, if any) you would be liable to pay simple interest @ 1% per month or part of the month, on the tax payable commencing from the date following the due date till the date of filing the return.


Some Basics

  • TDS: TDS is tax deducted at Source, Generally Employers deduct our taxes in advance and pay to govt in advance. TDS in detail
  • Previous Year: Previous Year means the year when we earn Income.
  • Assessment Year: Assessment year is the year when we actually pay tax for the income earned for previous year.
  • Example: So if we earn income in year Apr-2008 to Mar-2009,  2008-09 is our Previous Year and 2009-10 is our assessment year.

In case you have still not planned your taxes, here is a small guide for quick tax planning.


The Implications of not filing the income tax return on time and the steps to correct the situation

Scenario 1#  You do not have outstanding tax liability

In case you have already paid your taxes before 31 March, 2009, but could not file the return within the due date, you may file a return at any time before the end of one year from the relevant assessment year, simply put; for the financial year 2008-09 return can be filed at any time before 31st March 2011, however you may invite a tax penalty of Rs 5,000 u/s 271F of income tax act even if all your taxes have been paid if the same return is furnished after 31st March, 2010.

Scenario 2#  You do have some Outstanding Tax liability

If you do need to pay any balance tax, there is some financial implication. The basic principle remains the same: The income tax return for a given assessment year can be filed any time till the end of that assessment year without any penalty. If it is filed after the end of the assessment year, there may be a lump-sum penalty of Rs. 5,000. On top of this, there is a penalty of 1% per month on the net tax payable u/s 234A.


Say, your income tax liability for the year is Rs. 40,000. You have TDS (Tax Deducted at Source) of Rs. 20,000, and you have paid an advance tax of Rs. 6,000. Thus, the remaining tax payable by you is:

Net Tax Payable = Income tax liability for the year – TDS – Advance tax paid

= Rs. 40,000 – Rs. 20,000 – Rs. 6,000
= Rs. 14,000.


Now there are two cases, which we have to consider

Case 1:  File income tax return before the end of assessment year

Say you file your income tax return on 17th September, 2009. In this case, you would be filing your return 2 months late (partial months are considered as full months).

Final Amount = Net Tax Payable + Interest for 2 months at the rate of 1% per month Amount payable ,

= Rs. 14,000 + (2% of Rs. 14,000)
= Rs. 14,000 + Rs. 280
= Rs. 14,280

Case 2:  File income tax return after the end of assessment year

Say you file your income tax return on 4th June, 2010. In this case, you would be filing your return 11 months late (partial months are considered as full months). On top of this, you would be filing the income tax return after the end of the assessment year for which you are filing the return. So, in this case,

Final Amount = Net Tax Payable + Interest for 11 months at the rate of 1% per month + Lump sum penalty of Rs. 5,000

= Rs. 14,000 + (11% of Rs. 14,000) + Rs. 5,000
= Rs. 14,000 + Rs. 1540 + Rs. 5,000
= Rs. 20540

Save some tax by understanding Income clubbing provisions of Income tax

Additional Scenario

You have losses that you need to carry forward. This applies irrespective of whether you have any net tax payable or not. If you do not file the income tax return for a year by the due date, a loss for that year can not be carried forward. The only exception to this rule is loss from house property– this loss can be carried forward even if the IT return is not filed in time. Thus, if you have a loss from any of the heads of income (except for the head “Income from house property”) and you file your income tax return late, you would not be able to carry forward your losses. Thus, you would lose the benefit of set off of these losses against the income of the next year.


Not filing a return on time does have financial implications, especially if you have a net income tax payable and/or if you have losses to be carried forward. This can really hurt especially if the losses to be carried forward are significant. Therefore, your best option is to ensure that you file the income tax return by the deadline.”Better late than never” is the best policy when it comes to income tax return filing.

Notes from Manish:

Disadvantages of filing a late return

As per Income Tax Department of India : “Aa tax return may be furnished any time before the expiry of two years from the end of the financial year in which the income was earned’. This means that if you earned your income during FY 2009-10, you may file a belated return anytime before 31st March, 2012 ” . But there are some disadvantages if you dont file your returns on time .   They are

  • You will not be able to carry forward your Business loss (Speculation or otherwise) , capital loss , loss due to owning and maintaining of race horses.
  • Loss of Interest on refund : You may loose interest on refund u/s 244A specially in case if you are claiming a Major amount as refund.
  • You cannot revise your return.

NOTE: Dear Friends, the above article does not mean to encourage people for filing late return but only to make taxpayers aware about the provision of IT act and help them taking informed decision.

This is a guest article written by Mr. Rishabh Parakh who is a Chartered Accountant and Director at  Money Plant Consulting