The last date to file income tax returns (ITR) for a particular financial year (FY) differs depending on the kind of taxpayer that you are.
In the Income Tax world, the year in which the return is assessed is known as the Assessment Year, for example one will file the ITR for FY 2018-19 in the current financial year (that is 2019-20), which becomes its AY.
Here are the details on deadline to file ITR for FY 2018-19 (AY 2019-20):
1. Taxpayers that are not required to audit their accounts
Individuals and taxpayers that are not required by the Income Tax Act to get their books audited will have to file their ITR for FY 2018-19 by 31 July 2019. These taxpayers include individuals who earn an income from salary or pension and not from any business.
However, there is a possibility of extension in this deadline in the current assessment year as the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) recently extended the last date to file the TDS return (Form 24Q) by an employer to 30 June, from the earlier 31 May. Subsequently, the last date to issue Form 16 to employees was also extended from 15 June to 10 July, leaving little time for a salaried employee to file ITR.
The short period available at the hands of millions of salaried employees in the country could cause excess traffic on the Income Tax Department's official website or other such technical issues.
However, since such an announcement has not been made yet, it is best to file the ITR before 31 July to avoid penalty.
2. Taxpayers whose accounts need to be audited
A company, individual or a working partner of a firm that need to get their accounts audited under the Income Tax Act will have to file their ITR by 30 September 2019.
3. Taxpayers required to submit Form 3CEB
Those who have undertaken international or specified domestic transactions under section 92E during a financial year, are required to submit the relevant report in Form 3CEB. The deadline for filing ITR for these individuals is 30 November 2019.
Deadline to Revise ITR
If after filing the ITR, you find out that you had made a mistake in the return, you can only make the changes before the end of the relevant assessment year. For example, on the ITR for FY 2018-19, you can make changes to an already filed ITR by 31 March 2020 (that is the end of AY 2019-20).
The earlier deadline was 2 years after the end of a financial year.
What happens if you miss ITR filing deadline?
Since 1 April 2017, one has to file the ITR for a certain financial year before the end of the assessment year. While there is penalty to be paid if one misses the 31 July deadline, there is no way to file the ITR after 31 March of the following year.
If you file the ITR after 31 July but before 31 December 2019, you will have to pay a penalty of Rs 5,000. If the ITR is filed after 31 December 2019, but before 31 March 2020, the penalty to be paid will be Rs 10,000.
For small taxpayers, that is, those with income less than Rs 5 lakh, the penalty for both the delays are capped at Rs 1,000.
Individuals whose gross total income does not exceed the basic exemption limit, there is no penalty charged of missing the deadline to file ITR, under section 234F.
The basic exemption limit for FY 2018-19:
- Below 60 years: Rs 2.5 lakh
- 60-80 years: Rs 3 lakh
- Above 80 years: Rs 5 lakh
However, if you have income from foreign assets, even if it is within the basic exemption limit, you will have to file ITR within the deadline or face penalties.