As the name suggests, belated tax returns are when you file your tax returns after the extended returns filing deadline under Section 139(4) of the IT Act.
From the start of the new financial year on April 1st to July 31st, you get a window of 4 months to file your tax returns for the previous year. In case if you miss this July 31st deadline, you can still file the returns until December 31st by paying a penalty of Rs. 5,000. Returns filed after December 31st attract a penalty of Rs. 10,000.
But if you miss this extended due date of filing tax returns, you have the option to file a belated return.
As per the 2016 Finance Act amendment, belated tax returns can be filed within a year before the relevant Assessment Year, or AY ends. For instance, belated returns for AY 2018-19 could be filed by up to March 31st, 2019.
Late payment notice:
It is possible that you will receive a notice from the IT department if you have not filed returns for a particular year for more than two years. If you do receive one such notice, make sure that you start preparing the tax returns and file it as soon as possible. This can be done online by visiting the official TIN NSDL website.
Alternatively, you can also fill the returns filing form online and then submit the same to the IT officer of your ward. In case if you want to make any changes to the belated ITR, the same can be done until the end of the relevant AY.