ITR filing last date: What happens if you miss March 31 deadline to file returns


The last date for filing your income tax return, or ITR, for FY 2020/21 (AY 2021/22) is March 31. The original deadline was July 31, 2021, but that was extended because of Covid; the date was revised to December 31, 2021, then February 15, 2021, and finally March 15, 2021. The last date of March 31 for filing income tax return is under an income tax law that gives taxpayers three months’ window to file belated ITR. Missing the last date for filing ITR is not advisable as it could incur a penalty and demand for interest payment from the income tax department.

What if you miss last date for filing ITR for FY 2020/21 (AY 2021/22)?

The penalty for not filing your income tax return is 5,000 under Section 234F of the Income Tax Act. However, if your total income is below 5 lakh, then you have to pay 1,000 only.

This rule is applicable to all taxpayers and the penalty must be paid even if you are filing for a non-taxable amount. The income tax department can also charge you a penalty of 50 per cent of tax payable and you could, in extreme cases, face a jail term of three years.

Note that in addition to paying penalties you may also have to pay interest – 1 per cent per month or part of the month for tax left unpaid.

You may also face higher TDS (tax deducted at source) if you do not file your returns – under a proposal in last year’s budget non-filers will face TDS at twice the normal rate or 5 per cent.

A ‘non-filer’ is a person who has not filed an ITR in the two years immediately before the one in which tax is to be deducted; in this case it would be FY 2019/20 and FY 2018/19.

If you fail to file your return as prescribed you will also lose any refund due from TDS collection. The income tax department tweeted last week to say that over 1,92,720 crore had been issued as refunds to 2.26 crore taxpayers from April 1, 2021, to March 20, 2022.

How to file income tax return: Step-by-step guide, documents needed

What is the last date for filing ITR for FY 2020/21 (AY 2021/22)?

The last date was December 31, 2021, after the original deadline of July 31, 2021, was extended because of coronavirus. March 31 is the final date to file ITR; it is the end of a three-month grace period offered by the income tax department to file your return.

Note that if you are filing in the grace period then losses incurred (for example, from business or sale of property) cannot be carried forward and certain benefits are unavailable.

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