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ITR filing FY 2020-2021: What will happen if you fail to file ITR by 31 December?

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If taxpayers fail to submit the ITR by the due date, they can still file it by 31 March 2022, which is the last date to file their income tax return.

ITR filing FY 2020-2021: What will happen if you fail to file ITR by 31 December?

Representational image. Unsplash@markuswinkler

For general category taxpayers, whose accounts are not required to be audited, the due date of filing of the Income Tax Return (ITR) is usually 31 July each year. But for Financial Year 2020-2021 the due date has been extended till 31 December 2021 by the Central Government. With only two days left, a rush has been witnessed in the general category taxpayers for submitting their ITR.

But what happens if taxpayers miss the due date and are unable to file the ITR by 31 December?

If taxpayers fail to submit the ITR by the due date, they can still file it by 31 March 2022, which is the last date to file their income tax return.

However, the individuals, who file the ITR after 31 December, will lose their right to carry forward any losses for the current year.

In case an individual pays excess taxes, they are liable to receive a refund for the same paid by them. In case of delay in filing ITR, individuals may lose the right to receive the interest.

Another factor that taxpayers need to be aware of is that they will have to pay a late fee of Rs 5,000 (if their taxable income is more than Rs 5,00,000) if they fail to file their ITR by 31 December.  Individuals whose taxable income is below Rs 5,00,000 will have to pay a late fee of Rs 1,000, according to a report in India Today.

But what happens if taxpayers miss the last date for filing their ITR?

The income tax department can charge 50 percent of the tax that has been avoided, as a minimum penalty from those who fail to submit their ITR by 31 March.

Taxpayers should note that there is a minimum sentence of three years of imprisonment and a maximum of seven years in case the tax avoided exceeds Rs 10,000, as per the current income tax laws.

However, taxpayers can simply avoid these penalties by filing the ITR before the due date.

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