By India Today Business Desk: The Income Tax Department has urged remaining taxpayers in the country to file their Income Tax Returns (ITRs) for the assessment year 2023-24 before the July 31 deadline. Over 5 crore ITRs have already been filed on the ITR e-filing portal, of which 4.46 crore have been e-verified, and the possibility of a deadline extension remains bleak.
As taxpayers rush to file their ITRs with just two days left, many are expected to miss the deadline due to the devastation caused by heavy rainfall and floods in several parts of the country.
A survey has also indicated that many people could miss out on filing their ITRs before the July 31 deadline.
So, what happens if you miss the July 31 deadline?
While there are consequences like late fees and extra interest for missing the ITR filing deadline, the good news is you can still complete the process. If you miss the July 31 deadline, you can still file a belated return until December 31.
Late filing fee
However, a late filing fee will be imposed. For individuals with a total income exceeding Rs 5 lakh per annum, the late fee is Rs 5,000. For those with income below Rs 5 lakh, the late fee is limited to Rs 1,000.
“If the person fails to file the return of income within the time-limit prescribed in this regard, then as per section 139(4), he can file a belated return. A belated return can be filed at any time 3 months before the end of the relevant assessment year or before completion of assessment, whichever is earlier,” says the tax department.
Penal interest on tax amount
In addition to the late fee, you will also incur penal interest on any tax amount due. As per the Income Tax Act, you must pay simple interest at the rate of 1 per cent for each month or part of a month from the day after the due date until the actual date of filing the return.
While filing belated returns provides taxpayers a window if they miss the ITR filing deadline, it does come with drawbacks such as late fees, loss of interest on refund, penalties, and even prosecution and imprisonment in some extreme cases.
Therefore, taxpayers are advised to complete the tax filing process by July 31 unless there is a valid reason for missing the deadline.