New Delhi | Jagran Business Desk: If you are yet to file the income tax return for the fiscal year 2019-20, then hurry, as the last date is December 31. For those who are hoping to get lucky, the deadline is unlikely to get extended. The I-T Department is continuously reminding taxpayers through social media to file their returns on time.

The last date for filing the income tax returns were already extended several times to December 31 this year from the usual date of July 31 in wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

The I-T Department on Tuesday said that around 4.37 crore I-T returns for fiscal 2019-20 (Assessment Year 2020-21) have been filed till December 28. 4.51 crore ITRs were filed in the comparative period last year.

Now the question arises, what for those who fail to file their returns till December 31? Let’s take a look at the consequences:

If you file your ITR on or after January 1, 2021, then you would have to pay a late fee of Rs 10,000, unlike last year when the penalty for belated return filing within a few months of missing the deadline was only Rs 5,000.

However, if your income is below the taxable limit then you will not have to pay it even if you file after the deadline, according to the Income Tax Department website.

Late filing or filing your returns after the due date attracts a penalty under section 234F. For small taxpayers, with income below Rs 5 lakh, the penalty is set at Rs 1000 if the income tax return is filed after the expiry date.

Moreover, missing the ITR deadline will not only attract fine but also add more liabilities for the taxpayer. Under Section 234A of the I-T Act, any taxpayer who has defaulted the deadline will have to pay one per cent interest every month on the amount of unpaid tax till the returns are filed.

Also, a taxpayer may face prosecution under u/s 276CC of the Income Tax Act if he/she willfully ignores the returns after getting notice u/s 142 and 148 of the Income Tax Act.

If your income falls below the exemption limit then you won’t have to pay any penalty even if the returns are filed after the deadline. The exemption limit for individuals below 60 years is Rs 2.5 lakh while for people between 60 and 80 years the exemption limit is Rs 3 lakh. Those who fall in the super senior citizens’ category, of 80 years and above, income up to Rs 5 lakh is exempted.

Posted By: Abhinav Gupta