26 Nov 2021
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Section 139 of the Income Tax Act offers provisions on the late filing of income tax returns. Additionally, it provides the way forward to an assessee who failed to file tax returns before the deadline. Section 139 is divided into multiple sub-sections that focus on the non-submission of income tax returns within the prescribed timeline. However, this article zooms in on Section 139(4) of Income Tax Act, 1961.

While Section 139 is the trunk, 139(4) is one of the branches dealing with belated returns. Let’s understand the points highlighted under Section 139(4).

What is Section 139(4)?

Income Tax authorities provide you with a due date for filing ITR. In case you fail to file your tax returns within the stipulated date, or within the time frame allowed by a notice issued under Section 142(1), you can still file a belated return according to Section 139(4). It states that any taxpayer can file belated returns within a period of one year from the end of the relevant assessment year or prior to the conclusion of the assessment (whichever is earlier).

Penalty Under Section 139(4) of the Income Tax Act

If you fail to file income tax returns within the current assessment year as well, you may be charged with a penalty of Rs. 5,000 under Section 271F of the Income Tax Act. However, no penalty shall be levied if filing is not mandatory for your income as per the provisions of Section 139(1).

Due Dates for Filing Returns

Due dates for filing income tax returns under Section 139 is as follows:

July 31

If you are an individual who does not need to audit your books of account, ensure that you file your ITR before July 31 of every assessment year. You need to follow this timeline if you are:

 

  • Paid with a wage

  • Self-employed

  • A consultant or freelancer

September 30

If you are an individual who needs to conduct an audit of your books of account, ensure that you file income tax returns before September 30 of every assessment year.

Follow this timeline if you are:

 

  • A business entity

  • A self-employed person or a professional

  • A working partner employed with a firm or a consultant, who is mandated to conduct an audit of his/her accounting book

FAQs on Section 139(4)

  • ✔️What is the due date for the belated return for AY 2020-21?

    The due date for filing a belated return is December 31 for AY 2020-21.

  • ✔️What is income tax Section 139(4)?

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

  • ✔️Can you revise belated returns?

    Yes, ITR filed under Section 139(4) can be revised.