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  • Posted By SuperCA
  • On 10 December

Income Tax Due Dates
Due dates for filing income tax returns are dates by which returns can be filed without any late fee or penalty. 
Any taxpayer filing returns beyond their due date will have to pay interest under Section 234A and penalty under Section 234F.
Therefore it is important for every taxpayer to remember their due dates for filing Income Tax Return. 
Different Taxpayers have different due dates for filing tax returns eg- Individuals earning salary are required to file their income tax returns by 31st July of the assessment year.
    1. Individual            
    2. Body of Individuals[BOI]            
    3. Hindu Undivided Family[HUF]            
    4. Association of Persons[AOP]
    5. Businesses [Requiring Audit]
    6. Businesses [Requiring TP Report]
The Finance Ministry via Notification No.88/2020 issued by CBDT dated 29th October 2020 has announced an extension in deadlines for filing Income Tax Return and to furnish both Tax Audit Report as well as Transfer Pricing Reports. The action of the Finance Department was brought in the light of the Pandemic situation.
Extended Deadlines Are as Follows-
1- Income Tax Return u/s 139 [Revised and Belated Return] for AY 2019- 20 – Extension from 31st March 2020 to 30th November, 2020.
2- Income Tax Return u/s 139 (In cases of assesses to whom TP Audit, Company Audit and Tax Audit is applicable) for AY 2020-21- Extension from 31st October 2020/ 30th November 2020 to 31st January, 2021
3- Income Tax Return u/s 139 [Except mentioned in No.2] for AY 2020-21- Extension from 31st July, 2020 to 31st December, 2020
4- Self – Assessment Tax Liability with no interest chargeable under Section 234A, if the Self- Assessment Tax liability is up-to Rs 1 Lakh for AY 2020-21- Extension On or Before 31st July 2020/ 31st October 2020 to 31st January, 2021 (in case assesses doesn’t require to furnish any audit report)
5- Filing of Tax Audit Report under section 44AB and TP Report under section 92E of the IT Act for AY 2020-21- Extension from 30th September, 2020 to 31st December, 2020.
6- Furnishing of TDS/ TCS Statement (Returns) for AY 2020-21- Extension from 31st May 2020 to 31st July, 2020 as per the previous extension date.
Penalty for late filing- Penalty Fee under Section 234F
• Under Section 234 F, assesses who fails to file the Income Tax Return by due date i.e. 31st january
• A maximum fine of Rs.10, 000/- is applicable in case of late fee submission under Section 234 F.
• If a return is filed after due date but before 31st December, a penalty fee for late filing of ITR would be charged as Rs. 5000/-.
• ITR filed after 31st December will be charged with a late fine of Rs. 10,000/-. 
• The above was provided to grant relief to small taxpayers in the country.
• If the total income doesn’t exceed Rs.5 lakh the late fee of Rs. 1000 will be applicable.
Income Tax Return is Important- Its Advantages are as follows-
• Can Claim Tax Refund- An earliest application for refund can be received from the Income Tax Department. ITR will create transparency and hence speeds up the entire departmental process.
• Helps in easier approval of loans- ITR filing helps an individual to apply for loans in an easier and a convenient way.
• ITR receipt as an Identity proof- For e.g.- while applying for Visa, loans, passports etc ITR receipt helps in clear identification of an individual.
• Easy Visa Application- Government embassies require complete documentation of ITR to continue with visa process. This requirement has been made since past few days. Any record of penalty for not filing ITR on time is not accounted as a good thing for processing Visa Application.
• Advantage of carrying forward losses- The losses can be passed to subsequent years when an individual filed ITR with due regulation every time of the year. It can be an advantage to limit against income in the future. 
• Biggest advantage is to avoid penalty- If there is an failure in filing an ITR, the officer can initiate actions for prosecution for a period of 3 months to an extension of a period of 2 years including fine against that individual. If the tax to be payed exceed Rs. 25 lakhs than the time could be stretched to 7 years by the authorized officer. 
But to be noted that the above said procedure cannot take place for individuals whose tax doesn’t exceed Rs. 3000. But the tax officer can impose a penalty up to 50% of the tax pending or due when there has been no report of such income.
Outcome for not Filing ITR on time
ITR penalty is one of the factors but apart from that there are other certain disadvantages for not filing the same. The other disadvantages are listed as below-
• Delay in providing refunds- It is important for an individual to file ITR to receive refunds on time.
• Extra interest charged for late filing- Apart from penalty fee, an extra 1% is to be charged monthly under Section 234 A until the penalty fee is payed. Income tax filing fees can be avoided as such if the return is filed on time.
• Unpredicted losses- Losses will not be allowed to be carried forward to the next subsequent year and also an individual can set off the losses against profits in the coming years if the income tax is not filed within the due date.
Income Tax Return can be filed via FORM 16 via governmental portal by following few easy steps. In case an individual fails to file a return within the due dates, they have an option to file a belated return in that scenario. The late return can be filed at the end of every assessment year or before the beginning of the next year. 
A lot of due dates have shifted due to the pandemic situation going on and it is important to keep track of the due dates in order for an assessee to avoid any penalty or interest under various sections of income tax