What if you don’t file the income tax return before Due Date?

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What if you don’t file the income tax return before Due Date?

Finally, the Government has decided not to extend the due date of filing the income tax return. There are lot of taxpayers who have not filed the income tax return on the presumption that the date will be extended.
If taxpayers do not file ITR till the deadline of 31st December then still the taxpayers can file the return till 31.03.2022. The process of filing a belated return is the same as filing the return on or before the due date. If a belated return is filed after the due date, the taxpayer would be liable to pay the tax along with interest @ 1% per month (simple interest) under Section 234A. However, this filing will attract the late fee. If the total income does not exceed Rs 5 lakh, the maximum penalty levied for delay will be Rs 1000. However, if the return is filed after the due date or extended due date, then the late fee would be Rs. 5000/-.
It may be noted that late fee is attracted under section 234F which reads as under:
Fee for default in furnishing return of income.
234F. [(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 the said section, he shall pay, by way of a fee, a sum of five thousand rupees :
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
It may be noted that the highest late fee was reduced from Rs. 10,000/- to Rs. 5000/- by the Finance Act-2021 w.e.f. 01.04.2021.
Earlier, Section 234F used to read as under:
“(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 the 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.”
Earlier, the due date for filing income tax returns for AY 2021-22 was already extended by three months to December 31st, 2021.
The question arises as to whether the return filed can be revised? It may be noted that if after filing your tax return, taxpayers realizes that there is some error in reporting the incomes or some deductions/claims were not availed of in the return computation then it is possible to file a revised return. The last date of filing revised return for FY 2020-21 has been extended to March 31, 2022.
It may be noted that under the Indian income tax Act, losses under any head of income (other than income from house property), can be carried forward only if the tax return is filed within the due date. However, taxpayers can carry forward the loss under the head income from house property, even if the tax return is filed after the due date. In short, to avail the benefit of carry forward of the loss, the filing of the return within due date is mandatory.
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