The deadline to file an income tax return (ITR) for FY 2022-23 (AY 2023-24) is July 31, 2023. It is advisable to file your ITR before the due date, that is, July 31, 2023. However, if for some reason you do not manage to file your ITR before the deadline of July 31, 2023, read on to find out what will happen and what are options available to a taxpayer who wants to file his/her ITR post the deadline.
Penalty and interest on unpaid taxes
If the Income Tax Return (ITR) is not filed by the due date of 31 July, individuals can still file a belated return by 31 December, but they will be subject to a maximum penalty of ₹5,000. Additionally, interest at 1% per month or part thereof under Section 234A will be charged on taxes due until payment. It is crucial to file the belated return promptly to avoid further penalties and comply with tax regulations. The interest calculation starts from the day after the due date.
Further penalties and prosecution
If a taxpayer fails to file their Income Tax Return (ITR) by the given deadline, the income tax department can impose penalties ranging from 50% to 200% of the taxpayer’s actual income tax liability. In addition to the tax and interest liability until the date of filing the ITR, the penalties will be levied in response to the income tax notice from the department.
If a taxpayer fails to file their income tax returns for an assessment year, they will receive a notice from the Income Tax Department under Section 142(1), 148, or 153A. Failure to file even after receiving these notices can result in prosecution under Section 276CC of the Income Tax Act for tax evasion.
The penalties for tax evasion exceeding ₹25 lakh include a penalty for not filing ITR and imprisonment of at least 6 months, which may extend to 7 years. For other cases, the prescribed penalty is imposed along with imprisonment of at least 3 months, which can be extended up to two years.
Those who missed the July 31 deadline for filing ITR can still file the belated ITR by December 31 but with a late fee. The Indian government rejected the proposal to extend the ITR filing due dates this year so you will have this second go with some financial repercussions. Under section 234F of the Income Tax Act, 1961, the taxpayer is also required to pay a penalty of up to Rs. 5,000 for delaying the ITR.
The process of filing a belated ITR is the same as filing the usual ITR. However, before you start filing a belated ITR, an individual is required to pay a late filing fee which can be paid by using challan number 280 online on the NSDL website or by visiting the bank branch. As per the law, a late filing fee of Rs 5,000 will be levied on individuals who file belated ITR whose total income exceeds Rs. 5 lakh. For those whose total income does not exceed Rs. 5 lakh, the late filing fee will be Rs. 1,000.
Some taxpayers are exempted from penalty who have income less than the basic exemption amount. These are as follows:
1.) Those who are below 60 years and have a gross annual income of Rs 2.5 lakh
2.) Those who are above 60 years but below 80 years of age and have gross annual income of Rs. 3 lakh
3.) Those who are above 80 years of age and have gross income of Rs. 5 lakhs.
In order to avoid all the hassle, we recommend you file your ITR before the deadline from next time onwards. In order to file, figure out which ITR form of the four types to file ITR.