As a responsible citizen, it is your duty to file your income tax returns on time. However, sometimes life can get in the way, and you may miss the deadline. This article will discuss what happens if you miss the due date for filing income tax returns and the following consequences.
For the Assessment Year 2023-24 (or the Financial Year 2022-23), the final due date for Income Tax Return Filing (ITR) was December 31, 2023. More than 5 crore ITRs were filed before the due date.
However, many taxpayers could not file their ITRs before the due date, December 31, 2023, due to various reasons, including technical glitches on the Income Tax Department’s official filing portal. The good news is that if you missed the deadline, you have until March 31, 2024, to file your ITR for the AY 2023-24.
If a taxpayer fails to file their ITR before the final deadline of March 31, 2024, the Income Tax Department can levy a minimum penalty equivalent to 50% of the tax that would have been avoided if the person had filed their ITR. If the amount of tax attempted to be evaded exceeds INR 10,000, it may result in a minimum penalty of three years and a maximum punishment of seven years in jail.
Due Date for Filing Income Tax Returns
Before discussing the consequences of missing the due date, it is essential to understand what the due date is. The due date for filing income tax returns is when taxpayers must file their tax returns with the tax authorities. In India, the due date for filing income tax returns is generally 31st July of the assessment year for individuals and 30th September for businesses.
Consequences of Missing the Due Date for Filing Income Tax Returns
If you miss the due date for filing income tax returns, you may face the following consequences:
1) Late Filing Fee
The Income Tax Department charges a late filing fee of up to Rs.10,000 for individuals who file their tax returns after the due date. The fee is higher for taxpayers with higher income levels.
2) Interest on Tax Dues
If you have any tax dues, you will be charged interest for filing income tax returns every day of delay. The interest rate is currently set at 1% per month or part of the month for individuals.
3) Scrutiny by the Income Tax Department
If you file your income tax returns after the due date, there is a higher chance that the Income Tax Department will scrutinize your returns. This scrutiny may result in a notice for non-disclosure of income or other tax-related issues.
4) Ineligibility for Certain Deductions
If you file your income tax returns after the due date, you may lose the ability to claim certain deductions you may have been eligible for earlier. This could result in a higher tax liability for you.
5) Refund Delays
If you are eligible for a refund, filing your income tax returns after the due date may delay receiving your refund. The Income Tax Department may take longer to process your refund application.
What to Do if You Miss the Due Date for Filing Income Tax Returns?
If you have missed the due date for filing income tax returns, there are still ways to rectify the situation. Here are a few steps you can take:
1) File Your Returns As Soon As Possible – If you have missed the due date for filing income tax returns, the best thing to do is to file your returns as soon as possible. This will help you avoid further penalties and interest charges.
2) Pay Any Tax Dues – If you have any tax dues, pay them immediately. This will help you avoid further interest charges.
3) Request an Extension – In some cases, you may be able to request an extension for filing your income tax returns. However, extensions are only granted under certain circumstances, such as medical emergencies or natural disasters.
In conclusion, missing the due date for filing ITR can have several consequences, including late filing fees, interest on tax dues, scrutiny by the Income Tax Department, and delays in receiving refunds. However, if you act quickly, you may still be able to rectify the situation.