1. Filing ITR for Previous Years
According to the amendment in the Finance Act 2016, you can file your belated IT Returns anytime on or before 1 year from the end of the relevant Assessment Year(AY). For example, for the AY 2016-17, a belated return can be filed on or before 31st March 2018. However, with the amendment vide Finance Act 2016, from AY 2017-18 belated IT belated returns should be filed before the end of the relevant AY. For instance, for the AY 2018-19 , a belated return can only be filed on or before 31st march 2019.
2. What to do if you receive a late payment notice
In case you have received a notice from I-T Department asking you to file your returns that go beyond 2 financial years, you can log on to www.cleartax.in to prepare your return. You can then print this return and submit it to the Income Tax Office in your ward. Usually, old returns are filed as a response to an income tax notice.
It is interesting to note that from the AY 2018-19, the time limit for filing a revised return rectifying any omission, error etc made in the original return has also been reduced and such revision has to be done on or before the end of the relevant AY. Until AY 2017-18, there was a time limit for filing a revised return, of 1 year from the end of the relevant AY.
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3. Drawbacks of Filing Belated Returns
a. Interest may be applicable under section 234A, 234B and 234C.
b. A fee under Section 234F would be leviable upto Rs 5,000 if the return is filed on or before 31 March of the relevant AY and upto Rs 10,000 if filed subsequently.
For the FY 2017-18 (AY 2018-19), if the return is filed after 31 July 2018 but before 31 December 2018, a fee of Rs 5,000 would be leviable. And if filed after 31 December 2018, a fee of Rs 10,000 would be leviable.
c. Delayed returns cannot be revised. However, from FY 2016-17, a belated return can also be revised.
d. You will not be allowed to carry forward some losses that belong to the years for which returns were not filed. However, an exception is available for losses from house property which can be carried forward even in a case where returns are filed belatedly.
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– If you have missed the due date to file your return, you can still file it before 31 Dec 2018 by paying a fee of Rs 5,000. If you are filing after 31 December 2018, you will have to pay a fee of Rs 10,000. Also to note that the time limit for filing a return late for FY 2017-18 expires on 31 March 2019.