Sec 139(4): Belated Return under Income Tax

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Shreya Sharma

Belated ITR
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Sec 139(4)
Last updated on December 20th, 2023

Return of Income is the format in which the taxpayer furnishes their total income and tax payable information. Every compliance comes with a timeline. Similarly, the due date to file an Income Tax return is 31 July of the relevant Assessment year. However, to give the taxpayer a second chance to meet their tax obligation an option to file a belated return is provided. As the name suggests, a belated return is a return that is filed after the due date specified in the Income Tax Act.

What is a Belated Return?

Any person who has not furnished a return within the time allowed under section 139(1), may furnish the return for any previous year at any time-

(i) before three months prior to the end of the relevant assessment year (i.e. 31 December 2023 for PY 2022-23); or

(ii) before the completion of the assessment,

Whichever is earlier.

For example, Surbhi forgot to file ITR for FY 2022-23 (AY 2023-24) on or before 31st July 2023. Here she can still file ITR by 31st December 2023. But her return will be considered as a late return. It will be filed under section 139(4) of the Income Tax Act and not u/s 139(1).

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Who can file a Belated Return u/s 139(4)?

From FY 2019-20 onwards income tax return filing is mandatory in the following cases:

Shortly, the assessee who is required to file ITR and has missed the original filing deadline can file a belated return. For this taxpayers need to select section 139 (4) from the e-filing portal.

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Consequences of late filing of ITR

The following are the consequences of filing a Belated Return:

Interest Penalty u/s 234A:

The taxpayer is liable to pay simple interest at 1% per month or part of a month for delay in filing ITR. The calculation of interest will be from the date after the due date until the actual date of filing. For example, if the due date is 31/07/2022 and ITR is filed on 15/10/2022 then interest u/s 234A is levied for 3 months.

Late Filing Fees u/s 234F:

The maximum penalty for late filing of a return is to ₹5,000/-.

Consequences of filing belated return

Limitations of filing u/s 139(4)

If a person still fails to file his or her belated return, the income tax department may send them a notice to file the return.


Can we revise the Belated Return?

Yes. From FY 2016-17 (AY 2017-18) onwards Belated Return can be revised. Belated Returns of earlier years can not be revised.

Can I file my ITR after the due date?

Yes, ITR can be filed after the due date. But it will be considered a Belated Return and late filing fees will be levied.

Do I need to e-verify the Belated Return filed u/s 139(4)?

Yes. A taxpayer needs to e-verify the Belated Return filed after the due date. It will not be processed by the IT Department unless it is e-verified.

Can I claim a tax refund for the belated return?

Yes, You can claim a refund of extra tax paid while filing a belated return u/s 139(4). The refund will be credited directly to your bank account mentioned in ITR. Make sure to pre-validate your bank account to easily process a refund.

Got Questions? Ask Away!

  1. Hey @TeamQuicko

    Can I file a revised return even after I have received a refund?

  2. Hey @HarshitShah

    Yes, you can revise your return and carry forward the trading losses even if ITR is processed and refund is received.

    Hope this helps!

  3. Hey @HarishMehta

    Yes, ITR is mandatory to file when you had done transactions in the respective financial year. If there are losses, you don’t have to pay Income Tax, but transactions have to be reported in ITR.

  4. Hey Team, do I need to e-verify Belated Return??

  5. Hey @TanyaChopra

    Yes, you need to e-verify the Belated Return filed after the due date. It will not be processed by the IT Department unless it is e-verified.

    You can refer to the below article to understand how to file and e-verify Belated ITR.

    Do let us know in case you have any further queries!

  6. Hey @Shweta_Saini

    Yes. As per the amendment in Budget 2016, you can now file Revised Return u/s 139(5) for a Belated Return u/s139(4) from AY 2018-19.

    Hope this helps!

  7. Hey @Rakesh_Sharma

    Speculative Business Losses can be carried forward for 4 years and Non-Speculative Business Losses and Capital Gains Loss can be carried forward for 8 years.

    Hope this helps!

  8. Hey Team, good day!

    What are the consequences if I do not show Trading Transactions in ITR?

    Thanks in advance!

  9. Hi @riya_gupta,

    There is an exchange of data between the broker and the ITD. Even if you do not show in ITR, the ITD has a watch on the transactions. You might receive a notice from the ITD for the discrepancy between data with ITD and reported data in ITR. This may result in penalties.

  10. Hello, So if I file a revised return, I’ll be eligible to carry forwarding losses. When can i set them off. and also if are any other benefits I am not aware off?
    I am new to filing returns hence such basic questions. :sweat_smile:

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