Under Section 139(4) of the Income Tax Act, 1961, taxpayers can file belated returns within a period of one year. This can be from the end of the relevant assessment year or prior to the conclusion of the assessment, whichever is earlier.

 

Income tax authorities provide you with a due date for filing ITR. Hence, if you miss the deadline or receive a notice under Section 142(1), file a belated return under Section 139(4) for your income tax return.

Who Should File ITR Under Section 139(4)

As of FY 2022-23, the following situations necessitate the submission of an income tax return: 

  • If an individual's total income exceeds ₹2.50 Lakhs

  • If over ₹1 Crore is deposited in a current account with a cooperative bank or bank in a fiscal year

Limitations Of Filing Under Section 139(4)

Here are a few limitations of filing a return u/s 139(4):

  • Carry forward of losses restricted under the heads ‘capital gain’ and ‘business and profession’

  • Penalties and interest must be paid on late returns

  • Deductions under sections 10A, 10B, 80-IA, 80-IB, 80-IC, 80-ID, and 80-IE are prohibited

  • Delays resulting from taxpayer’s late filing will result in forfeiting of interest on refunds u/s 244A 

  • Taxpayers submitting a late return cannot select a different tax structure

Section 139(4A)

Individuals earning income from property held under a religious/charitable trust must file tax returns under Section 139(4A). If an individual earns income from voluntary contributions specified in subsection 2(24)(iia), they may need to file returns under Section 139(4A). 

 

This is necessary if their total income surpasses the maximum non-taxable limit allowed by income tax.

Section 139(4B)

Political parties must file income tax returns as per Section 139(4B) if their total income goes beyond the maximum tax exempt limit permitted. The Secretary or the Chief Executive Office of every political party must furnish this income tax return as is applicable.

Section 139(4C)

Section 139(4C) oversees the ITR of institutions claiming exemptions u/s 10. Entities that are compulsorily compelled to file tax returns under Section 139(4C) include those whose accumulation of funds exceeds the exemption's maximum permitted limit. Other exemption benefits received by the institution are not included in this.

 

The institutions covered by Section 139(4C) propose to apply for tax exemptions u/s 10 in accordance with the following provisions:

Clauses 21, 22, B, 23, A, C, D, DA, FB, 24, and 47

Section 139(4D)

Like Section 139(4C), this section also applies to the ITR of entities claiming Section 10 exemptions. All colleges, universities, and institutions that are not required to file ITR under any other provision of Section 10 must file returns u/s 139(4D). 

 

In accordance with Section 139(4D), the following Income Tax subsections are applied: Sections 35(1)(ii)and 35(1)(iii).

Section 139(4F)

Investment funds under Section 115UB, not obliged to file returns under other provisions of this section, must submit ITR each previous year. This must be in regard to its income or loss in each prior year. Every provision of this Act will apply, to the extent possible, as if it were a return required to be provided under subsection (1).

Consequences of Not Filing ITR

The following repercussions will apply if a return is filed after the deadline for filing ITR: 

  • Assessee is accountable to pay penal interest u/s 234A

  • Assessee is responsible for paying the Section 234F late filing fee

 

In case the total revenue is under ₹5 Lakhs, the late filing fee cannot be more than ₹1,000. However, if the ITR is submitted after the last date, as mentioned in the notice issued u/s 139(1), the following consequences may be applicable: 

  • ₹5,000 payable if ITR is furnished before 31st December of the assessment year

  • ₹10,000 payable if ITR is furnished after 31st December of the assessment year

 

Aside from these repercussions, deductions under the following sections will not be applicable if the return is submitted after the deadline: 

  • Sections 10A and 10B

  • Sections 80-IA, 80-IAB, and 80-IAC

  • Sections 80-IB and 80-IBA

  • Section 80-IC

  • Section 80-ID

  • Section 80-IE

  • Sections 80JJA and 80JJAA

  • Section 80LA

  • Sections 80P and 80PA

  • Section 80QQB

  • Section 80RRB

 

Additionally, carry forward of some losses is not allowed if the return of loss is made after the deadline. However, if a return is filed late and such a claim is made, the CBDT has the authority under section 119(2) to excuse the delay.

What to Do If You Receive a Late Payment Notice

In such cases, taxpayers usually file an old return while responding to the income tax notice. However, an individual should take prompt action to address the issue. 

 

Here are some steps they could take:

1. Review the Notice

Carefully examine the late payment notice to understand the specific details, including the outstanding amount, the due date, and any associated penalties or interest.

2. Verify the Information

Cross-verify the details mentioned in the notice with your records to ensure accuracy. Mistakes can happen, and it's essential to rectify any discrepancies.

3. Payment of Outstanding Amount

If the notice is accurate, make arrangements to pay the outstanding amount as soon as possible. Timely payment can help minimise further penalties and interest.

4. Communication with Tax Authorities

In case there are genuine reasons for the delay or if you faced difficulties in making the payment, consider reaching out to the tax authorities. Some jurisdictions provide options for installment payments or may consider waiving penalties under certain circumstances.

5. Seek Professional Advice

If the situation is complex or if you are unsure about how to proceed, seek advice from a tax professional. They can guide you on the best course of action and help you navigate the process.

6. Prevent Future Delays

Take proactive measures to prevent future delays in tax payments. Set reminders for due dates, explore electronic payment options, and keep your financial records organised.

 

In addition, you must keep the following factors in mind when dealing with delayed ITRs: 

  • Following FY17, a belated or delayed return can be revised 

  • Losses from residential property can be carried forward despite filing the returns late 

     

With regard to the last point, keep in mind that certain losses cannot be carried forward if they belong to years for which returns were not filed.

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FAQs

What is income tax Section 139(4)?

Section 139(4) of the Income Tax Act, 1961, states provisions on belated ITR filing. To put it simply, it provides guidelines on filing ITR after the due date.

Can you revise belated returns?

Yes, you can review the ITR filed under Section 139(4).

Can you file your IT return after your due date?

Yes, you can file your income tax return after the due date. However, it will be considered as belated filing and late filing fees shall be levied.

Can a tax return be claimed for a belated return?

You can claim tax return when filing a late return under Section 139(4). The refund will be directly credited to the bank account that is listed on your ITR. You facilitate the simple processing of a refund, make sure to pre-validate your bank account.

Am I supposed to verify my belated return under this section electronically?

Yes. A taxpayer must electronically validate any belated returns submitted after the deadline. It must be e-verified before the I-T Department may process it.

Can I file a revised return after one year?

A revised return can be filed before the end of the relevant assessment period, or prior to the end of the assessment period.

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