Filing Late Tax Returns in India: Penalty and Deadline for AY 2019-20
Taxpayers in India who missed their deadline to file their tax returns in August this year are advised to do so by December 31, 2019 or incur harsher penalties.
The last date to file income tax returns in India was August 31, 2019 for FY 2018-19 (AY 2019-20).
While the deadline has already passed, one can file late tax returns, provided the individual pays the relevant penalty.
A maximum penalty of INR 10,000 (US$141) can be levied for late returns under the Section 234F of the Income-tax Act, 1961.
For tax returns filed between September 1, 2019 to December 31, 2019, the maximum penalty is INR 5,000 (US$71).
This penalty increases to INR 10,000 (US$141), if the returns are filed between January 1, 2020 to March 31, 2020.
However, this is only applicable for individuals with an income above INR 5,00,000 (US$7064).
For taxpayers with an income less than INR 5,00,000 (US$7064), the maximum penalty that can be levied is INR 1,000 (US$14).
An interest is levied if the tax return is not filed on or before the due date. Under Section 234A of the Act, an interest at the rate of one percent per month, or part of a month, will be charged on the unpaid taxes until the return is filed.
Under Section 234F, if the gross income does not exceed the basic exemption limit, then no late filing fees will be levied.
To avoid the higher penalty, it is advisable for individuals to file their tax returns by December 31, 2019 or seek professional assistance to limit exposure to greater penalties.