For the financial year 2019-20 for which the assessment year remains as 2020-21, the government in view of the pandemic extended the due date to file ITR to January 10, 2021 for non-audit cases and February 15, 2021 for audit cases. And now if you missed the due date for some or the other reason, you have time until March 31 to file your return of income (belated) by paying some penalty amount and interest.
And now if you do not adhere to this timeline also for filing your ITR for financial year 2019-20, you will have to confront serious consequences:
1. You will not be able to file return post March 31, 2021 for Fy 2019-20:
This is because such return of income not filed until March 31, 2021 shall be deemed as time barred return and the income tax does not has any provision that allows filing of time barred returns.
2. May receive income tax notice if you fall in the taxable slab:
The department of income tax may send such a taxpayer a notice if he or she does not files the return for the said assessment year but has taxable income. And for the due taxes, the penalty to the tune of 50-200% of the due taxes is payable together with interest at the rate of 1 percent per month for the period of delay.
3. If the motive of non-filing ITR is seen to be tax evasion, the consequence shall still be severe:
Prosecution under section 276CC of the Income tax Act can be initiated against such defaulting taxpayers who may be subjected to harsh imprisonment of not less than 3 months and extendable up to 2 years together with fine implications.
Further in a case the tax evasion amounts to over Rs. 25 lakh then in such a case imprisonment term could be in the range of 6 months to 7 years together with a fine. Nonetheless in the evaded amount is up to Rs. 10000 then no such prosecution can be undertaken.
4. Condonation of such delay in filing return due to some genuine reason:
As per section 119(2)(b) of the Income Tax Act 1961 the authoritation body has the right to accept any application or request for any exemption, deduction or such other relief even after the expiry of the period given under the IT Act. And when the reason for not filing the ITR is genuine then by providing relevant supporting documents, the taxpayer can apply for condonation relief.
5. Other than the above some additional implications become applicable if return is not filed by the due date:
Late filing fee of Rs. 10000 will apply, but where the income is Rs. 500000, the penalty amount will be limited to Rs. 1000.
As the return filing is done beyond the due date, the taxpayer will also lose on some of the deductions and/or the provision of set off or carry forward of losses (besides house property loss)
Interest under section 234A of the Income tax Act would apply at the rate of 1 percent per month or part of the month for the tax amount that remains to be paid.