What Happens If You Miss Deadline

Apart from monetary fines, failure to file tax returns can also lead to imprisonment.

The deadline to file the income tax returns (ITR) for the assessment year 2023-24 ends today. As per the latest update, over 6 crore ITRs had been filed till 6:30 PM on July 30. The Income Tax department has urged taxpayers to complete the filing process at the earliest, emphasising there will be no extensions in the deadline this year. In case a taxpayer fails to file the returns before the deadline, it may invite penalties and other consequences.

Here’s what happens when a taxpayer fails to file the ITR before the end of the deadline:

Late Fees

Taxpayers still have the option to complete the tax filing process after the end of the initial deadline but with a late fee of Rs 5,000. All such ITRs need to be filed before December 31. In case, the taxpayer’s total income doesn’t exceed Rs 5,00,000, the penalty shall be restricted to Rs 1,000. For taxpayers whose total income is less than the basic exemption limit, there shall be no late filing fees.

Interest On Taxable Amount

The Income Tax department charges interest at the rate of 1 per cent per month on the taxable amount in case of delay in filing the return. The interest shall be applicable on the net taxable income after the deduction of TDS (tax deducted at source), TCS (tax collected at source), advance tax and other reliefs/ tax credits available under the law. In these cases, even a single-day delay is charged with interest for a month.

No Carry Forward Of Losses

Not filing the tax return by the due deadline will also lead to a loss of carry forward of losses to future years. However, losses under the header “income from house property” or unabsorbed depreciation shall be allowed to be carried forward.

Fine And Imprisonment

Apart from monetary fines, failure to file tax returns can also lead to imprisonment. Late filing of returns where the tax payable or evaded is more than Rs 25,000, may lead to imprisonment of 6 months to 7 years and a fine.

Delay Or Loss Of Refund Claims

A taxpayer can claim their refund for excess tax deducted only after filing income tax returns. Taxpayers are eligible to receive interest on such excess deductions, provided they adhere to the prescribed schedule for filing the return. Not filing ITR on time may result in a prolonged wait or loss of the receipt of the tax refund.

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