How to file IT return for previous years?

Before getting to the point, it is required to understand the meaning of following terms:

Belated Return:

                             If you file your income tax return after due date(31st March Of every A.Y) then it is called Belated Return. This return can be filled:

  1. Any time before the end of assessment year for relevant previous year OR
  2. Before the completion of assessment

Whichever is earlier.

It is to be noted that in case of belated return you have to pay interest @1% per month OR Late fee of RS1000/5000/10000,as applicable.

        Can Belated return be revised?      

 As per Finance Act,2016 Belated return can be revised (applicable from AY 2017-2018)

Condonation of Delay:

                                         If you have missed your due date for belated return also then there is a option of condonation of delay but only if taxpayer has:

  1. Tax refund pending.
  2. Carry forward his losses.

For this, taxpayer has to make an application to the Commissioner of IT(CIT) or prescribed authorities. Here prescribed authorities means if your refund is up to 10 lakhs then you can move application to CIT and if your refund is greater than 10 lakhs but up to 50 lakhs then you can move application to chief commissioner of IT/Principle commissioner of IT but if your refund is more than 50 lakhs then you have to make an application to CBDT (Central Board of Direct Taxes).

Now the parameters based on which your application can be rejected or accepted by the IT Department:

  1. The claim is correct and genuine.
  2. Case is based on genuine hardship on merits.
  3. Income is not assessable in the hands of any other person under IT Act.
  4. The refund has arisen as result of excess tax deducted or tax collected at source, advance tax, or self-assessment tax.
  5. No interest on Income Tax refund.

The Time Limit to file such an application is six years from the end of relevant A.Y. (For example who have missed the deadline of March 31, 2018 can file such an application till 31st March, 2024).The application will have to be disposed by the Department within six months from the date of filing of application.

What to do if application is rejected by IT Department?

If your application is rejected by IT Department then you have to perform the following steps:

If taxes are payable by you:

If you have not paid taxes for the relevant P.Y whose ITR you forgot to file in immediately succeeding A.Y the you should pay all taxes along with interest as applicable under section 234 A, 234B or 234 C. By doing this you can prevent yourself from imprisonment by IT in future. You will just have to pay penalty of RS 5000 and if you have genuine reason then this penalty could also be forgiven.

If all taxes are paid but return not filled:

If you have paid all taxes but failed to file return before due date then you have no option other than waiting for notice from IT Department under Section 271F for levying penalty (Maximum Rs5000) on non-filing of ITR. No penalty will be levied if there is a genuine reason for such non-compliance and if IT officer is satisfied with the reason.

In a nutshell, we can say that you can file your return before 31st Of A.Y and if you failed to do so then you can exercise the option of Condonation, only if above conditions are satisfied. Since the option of Condonation was recognized in Finance Act 2016, therefore it is applicable only for A.Y 2016-17, 2017-18, 2018-19.

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