Belated Return u/s 139(4) is the return filed after the due date. The due date to file ITR for Individuals is 31st July of the assessment year (next financial year). And the due date to file ITR for Individual to whom audit is applicable is 30th September of the assessment year.
You can file belated return u/s 139(4) on or before the end of the assessment year. However, for FY 2018-19 / AY 2019-20, you can file a Belated Return till 30th June 2020 due to COVID-19.
Who can file Belated Return u/s 139(4)?
From FY 2019-20 onwards return filing is mandatory in the following cases:
- Total Income is more than INR. 2,50,000
- The amount deposited in a current account held with a bank or co-operative bank exceeds INR 1 crore in a financial year;
- Expenditure incurred on foreign travel exceeds INR 2 lakh in a financial year for himself/herself or any other person;
- If an individual incurs electricity bills of INR 1 lakh or more in a year; and
- For claiming capital gains tax exemption on investment in a house.
Hence Belated Return can be filed by anyone who is required to file ITR.
Due Date to file Belated Return u/s 139(4)
As per Budget 2021, there is a proposed reduction in the deadline for filing belated, revised ITR by three months. So now the due date to file belated, revised ITR will be December 31 of the assessment year instead of March 31 of the assessment year. This change also implies that the last date for voluntarily filing the ITR for the current financial year (FY21) will be December 31, 2021. This means a taxpayer can file a belated return up to one year from the end of the financial year.
FY 2020-21 onwards – on or before 31st December of the relevant assessment year,
Up to AY 2017-18 – within one year from the end of the relevant assessment year.
Example: Ajay forgot to file ITR-1 for FY 2020-21 (AY 2021-22) on or before 31st October 2021 (Extended due date). Here he can file ITR by 31st December 2021. But his return will be considered as belated return and it will be filed u/s 139(4) and not u/s 139(1).
Consequences of late filing of ITR
Following are the consequences of filing Belated Return:
Interest Penalty u/s 234A: Simple Interest @ 1% of tax liability per month or part thereof is levied when return is filed after the due date. 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 31/08/2019 and ITR is filed on 15/11/2019 then interest u/s 234A is levied for 3 months.
Late Filing Fees u/s 234F: From AY 2018-19 onwards, Late filing fees up to INR. 10,000 is levied if the return is filed after the due date. These fees are levied if the gross total income of an individual is INR. 2,50,000 or more.
Unable to Carry Forward Losses: You can set off losses against current year incomes but you can not carry forward losses incurred against future gains. However, in case of House Property Losses carry forward of losses is allowed.
Exemptions / Deductions Disallowed: In case of belated return exemptions/deductions, u/s 10A, 10B, 80-IA, 80-IB, 80-IC, 80-ID and 80-IE are not available. This is allowed only if ITR is filed on or before the due date.
How to file Belated Return?
You can file belated return u/s 139(4) in following two manners:
- From your Login on Income Tax e-Filing Portal,
- Using ITR Preparation Utility.
Yes. From FY 2016-17 (AY 2017-18) onwards Belated Return can be revised. Belated Return of earlier years can not be revised.
Yes, ITR can be filed after the due date. But it will be considered as Belated Return and late filing fees will be levied.
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.
Yes, you can claim a refund of TDS deducted while filing 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 for the easy processing of a refund.