Under the Income Tax Act, the deadline to file IT returns is July 31 of the relevant assessment year (AY). However, there are two exceptions as well. Assesses who are required to furnish report u/s 92E for international transactions or specified domestic transactions have to do so on or before November 30. For companies, meanwhile, the last date to submit tax returns is October 31.

However, what happens when a tax payer does not file his/her ITR by the due date? Also, if the return is filed before the deadline, but has an unintended error, can it be revised?

Belated ITR: As the name suggests, such a return is submitted after the due date, and can be filed till December 31 of the relevant AY. It has 3 major disadvantages: 1 per cent monthly interest on unpaid taxes, late fees of 1,000 for income below 5 lakh and 5,000 for above 5 lakh, and losses such as capital and business losses cannot be carried forward to be set off in subsequent years.

Revised ITR: Under section 139(5) of the IT Act, individuals can rectify mistakes in their returns. These can be submitted till December 31 of the relevant AY. A belated ITR can be revised, while a revised ITR can be revised as well.

Updated ITR: This facility can be availed even if an individual furnished an original return. If filed within 12 months from the end of AY, tax will be charged at 25 per cent, while if submitted after 12 months but before 24 months from the end of the relevant AY, tax will be charged at 50 per cent.

Defective ITR: If not duly filed, or furnished with defects, the ITR can be declared ‘defective’ by the assessment officer. If the defect is not rectified within 15 days of notice, the return will be considered ‘invalid.’ This means it will be assumed that no return was filed in the first place.

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