Income Tax


Thursday 29 March 2018

Deadline, File Income Tax Return On or Before 31st March 2018

Income tax return is a document you file with the Internal revenue service or the state tax board reporting your tax board reporting your income, profit and losses of your business and other deductions as well as details about your tax refund or tax liability. If you are earning more than Rs.2,50,000/- per year then you are liable to file income tax return. 

The process is no more flexible from this year to file tax return. You are required to file return On or before 31st March 2018, its last date to file your previous return also after that return cannot be filed, but there is a option to file the return, for that to pay fix penalty or late fees of Rs 5,000/-

If you are among those taxpayers who have not yet filed their income tax return (ITR) for the financial year 2016-17, assessment year (AY) 2017-18, you must have received emails and messages from the income-tax department reminding you to file the tax return by 31 March 2018. You must remember that if you had income that was above the exempted limit during F.Y. 2015-16 & 2016-17, then it is mandatory for you to file a tax return. If you had income that was less than the threshold limit for taxes to apply, but you deposited a considerable amount of cash in your bank accounts during the demonetization period, you should file a tax return.

There is a concept called as a late tax return. The last date to file a tax return is usually 31st July of each assessment year (AY). This is the year in which income is assessed properly, tax is paid and return tax is filed for the previous year means financial year. So, for  the financial year 2016-2017 assessment year is 2017-2018. 31st July 2017 was the last date to file tax return for financial year 2016-2017. This date was later changed to 5th August 2017.  If someone has filed the tax tax return after the concerned date, then that is considered as "Belated return."

Belated returns can be filed before the end of the relevant assessment year, that is by 31st march 2018, till financial year 2015-16, taxpayers had some extra time so that they could even file belated returns before the end of two years from the end of the relevant financial year. 

You can do two things at a time.
1. File the tax return of the Financial year 2016-17 i.e., previous year,
2. File the return for financial year 2015-2016 also.

Let’s focus on one major point. Disadvantage of belated return :

You may face penalties & lose out benefits if you don’t file a tax return on given time.

For starters, there are penalties and interest levied on the income tax that was due. “The person who files a belated return for AY 2017-18 may be subject to a penalty of Rs 5,000 under Section 271F of the Income-tax Act, 1961,”Apart from the penalty, interest too may be levied under various sections. “If any tax is due, interest may have to be paid under sections 234A, 234B and 234C of the Act,”

From the next AY, 2018-19, a fixed amount of penalty will be charged on belated tax returns. “Section 271F will get replaced by section 234F, which prescribes a late fee of Rs 5,000 if the return is filed after due date and up to 31 December, and Rs 10,000 (from 1 January) up to 31 March of AY. However, if the total taxable income of a person doesn’t exceed Rs 5 lakh, late fee shall not exceed Rs 1,000”.

Besides penalty and interest, there are other disadvantages to filing tax returns late. One of these is not being able to carry forward capital losses. Certain losses like those from business and profession and short-term capital loss may not be allowed to be carried forward.

If there is any refund, it may be delayed and taxpayers will not receive interest on refund from 1 April of the AY. Interest will be paid from the date on which the tax return was furnished till the date on which refund is granted. “If return is filed within the due date, interest is paid effective 1 April of the AY to the date on which refund is granted,” for example you were eligible for a refund of Rs 10,000, you filed the ITR in June, which is before the due date (31 July); and you get a refund in September. In this case, you will get interest on the refund from April till September. But if you file late, say, in October, and you get refund in December, you will get interest on the refund only from October till December.

Penalties if you don’t even file a Belated Tax return : 

Besides the penalties and other disadvantages that a belated tax return invites, the income-tax department can send you a notice of inquiry (under section 142(1)) or a notice of income escaping assessment (section 148). Through these notices, it can seek clarification on why the tax return was filed late, and you will be asked to file the return online as per the date specified in the notice. There may also be penalties.

If you don’t receive any notice and you have a genuine reason for not having filed the return, “you may send a written request to the AO (assessment officer) for filing a return,” said Gupta. You can do this even after the last date, that is 31 March of the AY, but the permission will depend on AO’s discretion.

If you don’t reply to the notice or don’t file your return within the stipulated time mentioned there, your problem can escalate, depending on the tax due. “If the person has taxable income and still doesn’t file a tax return, then in addition to penalty for non-filing of return, the person may also be subject to a penalty for under-reporting of income at 50% of the tax payable on under-reported income,”can be initiated in some cases.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. such a great information...

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. 31st March,2019 is last date to file the income tax return but with late fees, if your taxable income before any deduction more than 2.50 lakh after that you are not able to file your return.

  5. Great post, yo have thoroughly explain the disadvantage of late return which should be avoided.

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