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Filing Income Tax Returns: Deadlines, Penalties, and Consequences of Late Filing

Failing to file ITR on time will attract penalties and miss certain tax benefits.

Filing Income Tax Returns: Deadlines, Penalties, and Consequences of Late Filing
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It's tax season again, and individuals, businesses, and other taxpayers are busy filing their income tax returns (ITR) to report their income and taxes paid to the government.

Filing taxes on time is essential to avoid penalties and get tax benefits. The due date for filing returns depends on the type of taxpayer. Salaried employees must file their returns by July 31 each year. Taxpayers who need their accounts audited must file returns by October 31.

Due Dates for Different Taxpayers

Individuals, Hindu Undivided Families (HUFs), and Body of Individuals (BOIs) have to file returns by July 31 if accounts don't need auditing.

Companies or individuals requiring audit need to file returns by October 31 of the relevant assessment year. For FY 2023-24, this assessment year is already finished.

Taxpayers, required to furnish reports under Section 92E, are supposed to file by November 30 of the relevant assessment year.

Belated and Revised Returns

Belated Returns: Taxpayers can file belated returns by December 31 of the relevant assessment year. The same deadline applies for revised returns as well.

Updated ITRs: Updated returns can be filed until March 31, two years after the relevant assessment year ends. For FY 2023-24, this period is from April 2025 to March 31, 2027.

Penalties for Late Filing

Penalty under Section 234F: A late filing penalty of Rs 5000 applies. For taxpayers with taxable income below Rs 5 lakh, the penalty is Rs 1000.

Penal Interest: A penal interest of 1% per month may be levied under Sections 234A, 234B, and 234C for late payment or deferment of self-assessment and advance taxes.

Consequences of Late Filing

Filing after the deadline means you can't choose the old tax regime or claim its deductions. From FY2023-24, the new tax regime is the default, and late returns are based on it. Late filers also lose the ability to offset capital losses against capital gains, which can increase the taxable amount and the taxes owed.

Divya Shivaji
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