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Timelines for the filing of returns have been prescribed under the income tax laws in India. Taxpayers do make various claims in their returns of income like a refund, carry forward of losses etc, which, if returns are not filed, cannot be claimed at all by taxpayers by any other mode. So does this mean if one fails to file his return within the due date for certain unavoidable reasons, he loses his otherwise rightful claim to a refund or a carryforward of loss?
No. Not completely. The income tax laws empower to Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) to authorize Income tax officers to accept such returns claiming an exemption, deduction, refund, carryforward of losses as the case may be, even after the expiry of the due dates prescribed. Section 119 of the Income-tax act deals with this. Let’s understand this section a little more in detail.
Section 119 empowers the Central Board of Taxes (CBDT) to issue instructions to lower level of authorities. In addition, section 119(2)(b) empowers CBDT to direct income tax authorities to allow any claim for exemption, deduction, refund and any other relief under the income tax act even after the expiry of the time limit to make such claim. However, such claims will only be allowed by the income tax authority provided, making such a claim within the prescribed due date was genuinely out of the control of the taxpayer.
Applications for claim of refund or carry forward of losses can be accepted beyond the due date according to Section 119. However, certain guidelines for accepting or rejecting these applications have been set out by the CBDT vide its Circular dated 9.5.2015. In fact, this circular specifies the monetary limits based on which different levels of income tax authorities have been authorized to deal with these applications. The table below prescribes the monetary limit of the claim made and the income tax authority empowered to deal with it.
|Where the amount of claim is not more than Rs. 10 lacs||The Principal Commissioners of Income Tax/ Commissioners of Income Tax (Pr.CITs/CITs)|
|Where the amount of claim is more than Rs. 10 lacs but less than Rs. 50 lacs||The Principal Chief Commissioners of Income Tax/ Chief Commissioners of Income Tax (Pr.CCITs/CCITs)|
|Where the amount of claim is more than Rs. 50 lacs||Central Board of Taxes|
Once you receive an order of acceptance of your claim, you can file return u/s 119(2)(b) from income tax e-filing website by the following steps :
Any relief or claim will be allowed only when these conditions will also be fulfilled along with those mentioned above :