Why filing a belated return is not a good choice?

Around 3.7 crore ITR returns for FY 2021-22 have been filed till today. 31st July 2022 is the last day to file your returns. Salaried individuals and businesses (not covered under tax audit) need to file their returns before 31st July 2022. While taxpayers are allowed to file belated returns till 31st December 2022, there is a cost involved in filing late returns.

You will have to pay late filing fees if you file your returns after the due date. Taxpayers with a gross total income of more than Rs 5 lakh need to pay a penalty of Rs 5,000. If the gross total income is Rs 5 lakh or less, the penalty is Rs 1,000. 

Apart from late filing fees, the taxpayer is responsible for paying interest at 1% per month or part thereof on the outstanding tax liability. 

The Income Tax Act allows set off of losses against other income. The losses unadjusted during the year can be carried forward to the subsequent years and set off with the future incomes as per the income tax rules. However, if you file ITR after the due date, you will not be able to carry forward losses from business, profession, sale of shares or mutual funds, etc. Only losses from house property can be carried forward in case of belated returns. 

Hence, you should file your returns before the due date. It means you should not wait till the last day to file ITR. Further, the last date of ITR filing, 31st July 2022, falls on Sunday. The income tax portal may not run smoothly due to heavy traffic. Also, taxpayers without online banking options will be unable to pay taxes offline on 31st July due to a bank holiday. This may create chaos and confusion at the last minute.

For any clarifications/feedback on the topic, please contact the writer at namita.shah@clear.in

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