Today is the last day to file your Income Tax returns. The previous deadline of 31 July was extended by the tax department to 31 August 2018 with the exception of flood-ravaged Kerala where the deadline is 15 September.

The Ministry of Finance had in a notification said, “In view of the disruption caused due to severe floods in Kerala, the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) hereby further extends the due date for furnishing Income Tax Returns from 31 August 2018 to 15 September 2018 for all Income Tax assesses in the state of Kerala, who were liable to file their Income Tax Returns by 31 August 2018.”

As per the law, returns filed must be verified within 120 days of filing.

Failure to file the I-T returns (ITR) before the end of the deadline will make a defaulter liable for penalty.

What is the deadline for Individuals and Businesses?

The deadline for Individuals, Body of Individuals (BOI), Hindu Undivided Family (HUF), and Association of Persons (AOP) is 31 August 2018.

The deadline for Businesses requiring audit is 30 September 2018 and that for Businesses not requiring TP Report (Transfer Pricing Report) is 30 November 2018.

Penalty for failing to file IRT 2018-19

In case the ITR is not filed before deadline, the defaulter will have to file belated returns along with a simple interest of 1 per cent per month on the outstanding due from the date of the deadline, which in this case is 31 August.

There will be a penalty ranging from Rs 5,000 to Rs 10,000 depending on the degree of delay and the income of the assessee.

The penalty for missing the deadline was made applicable from Assessment Year 2018-19 under Section 234F.

The Section reads:

“Fees for default in furnishing return of income.—

(1) Without prejudice to the provisions of this Act, where a person required to furnish a return of income under section 139, fails to do so within the time prescribed in sub-section (1) of said section, he shall pay, by way of fee, a sum of,—

(a) five thousand rupees, if the return is furnished on or before the 31st day of December of the assessment year;

(b) ten thousand rupees in any other case:

Provided that if the total income of the person does not exceed five lakh rupees, the fee payable under this section shall not exceed one thousand rupees.

(2) The provisions of this section shall apply in respect of return of income required to be furnished for the assessment year commencing on or after the 1st day of April, 2018.”

If no tax is payable, the taxpayer won’t be liable to pay the interest solely due to the belated filing of ITR for FY17-18.

Additional burden of failing to file within deadline

Besides the penalty and the interest per month, the assessee will also not be able to carry forward losses incurred under Capital Gains or any loss in business if they fail to file the returns within the due date. Losses incurred under Income from House Property are, however, exempted from this rule.

What is belated return?

A belated return is a return filed after the due date. In this case, the belated return can be filed before the end of 31 March 2019. The assessee can also revise a belated return in which one can make corrections before the final submission.

It should be noted that those who have made a mistake while filing the return have till 31 March 2019 to revise the same. The revision time has been reduced from the earlier two years.