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Penalty for Late Filing of Income Tax Return - 234F of Income Tax Act - FY 2023 -24

Updated on: Apr 1st, 2024


4 min read

The last date to file your ITR for the AY 2024-25 (FY 2023-24) is 31st July 2024 (unless extended by the department) for individual taxpayers. Not filing your ITR on time can lead to a penalty, but there are also other consequences and inconveniences attached to the delay. Let us understand these in detail below.

Penalty for Late Filing u/s 234F

As per the changed rules notified under section 234F of the Income Tax Act, filing your ITR post the deadline, can make you liable to pay a maximum penalty of Rs.5,000.

From the financial year 2021 onwards, the income tax department has reduced the maximum amount of penalty for late filing of returns to Rs 5,000 from Rs.10,000.
To break this down for FY 2023-24; if you file your ITR before 31st July 2024 (30th September 2024 for audit and 31st October 2024 for transfer pricing cases), no penalty will be levied. 
For returns filed after 31st July 2024, the penalty limit will be increased to Rs.5,000. However, as a relief to small taxpayers, the IT department has stated that if your total income is not more than Rs 5 lakh, the maximum penalty levied for delay will only be Rs.1,000.

Late Filing Fee Details

e-Filing DateTotal income below Rs 5 lakhTotal income above Rs 5 lakh
31st July 2024Rs 0Rs 0
Between 1st August 2024 to 31st December 2024Rs 1,000Rs 5,000

Reduced Time for Revising Your Return

Let’s say you are filing your ITR, and you end up making a mistake. Under the changed rules, you only have time till 31st December of the assessment year to make the change (for ITRs from FY 2017-18). Earlier, taxpayers had a 2-year long window to revise and resubmit an erroneous ITR. This has now been decreased to 9 months from the end of the financial year. Therefore, the earlier you file, the longer would be the window available to you for revising your returns to rectify errors, if any.  

Payment of Interest

If you do not file income tax returns on or before the due date, you would be required to pay interest at the rate of 1% for every month, or part of a month, on the amount of tax remaining unpaid as per section 234A. It’s important to note that one’s ITR cannot be filed if one hasn’t paid the taxes. The calculation of the penalty will start from the date immediately after the due date, which is usually 31 July of the relevant assessment year. So, the longer you wait the more you will have to pay.

Carry Forward of Losses is Not Permitted

If you have incurred any losses during the year say a loss under the head capital gains or any loss in your business, make sure you file your return within the due date. Not doing so will deprive you of carrying forward these losses to the next years for set off against income in future years. However, if you have losses from house property, it will be allowed to carry forward to future years, even if you file after the due date.

Delay in Receiving Refunds

In case you’re entitled to receive a refund from the government for excess taxes you have paid, you must file your return before the due date to receive the refund at the earliest. 

Reasons for delay in refund

Frequently Asked Questions

If my income for the year falls below the exemption limit, will I need to file Income Tax Return?

The exemption limit for individuals is Rs. 2,50,000. If the total taxable income for the financial year does not cross the basic exemption limit mentioned in either of the tax regimes, no need to file the ITR.  

To know more about Income tax return filing for incomes falling below basic exemption limit

What are the consequences of filing a late return?

  • Late filing of Income tax return will attract Section 234F, in which a penalty of Rs. 1,000 is imposed if the assessee’s taxable income is less than or equal to Rs.5,00,000 and Rs.5,000 for taxable income above Rs. 5,00,000.
  •  Interest at the rate of 1% per month (Section 234A) on the outstanding amount of tax will be levied.
  • Delay in refund if there is any excess tax paid. 
  • Interest on refund @ 0.5% per month won’t be provided by the department.
  • Losses incurred during the financial year cannot be carried forward to set off the taxable incomes for the future assessment years to reduce the tax liability in future.

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