IT return can always be filled for two preceding financial year

We all know, Income tax return (ITR) has to be filled before the due date of filling IT return i.e. 31st July of the assessment year following the financial year for which you are filling your tax return. But this is not the end. If you missed the deadline of filling your tax return then it can still be filled after such date. 

Let us understand the provisions of IT act regarding filling your ITR. As per the provisions of IT act, ITR can be filled within the end of 2 years from the financial year for which you are filling your ITR.

Financial year (FY) for income tax purpose is also called previous year (PY). PY starts from the 1st of April and ends on 31st March. If someone says the PY is 2012-2013 then the FY starts from 1st of April 2012 and ends on 31st march 2013. As per IT act, incomes incurred during a FY are taxable in assessment year based on the rates applicable.

Recommended Read: What is previous and assessment year according to IT act?

IT return can always be filled for two preceding financial yearAfter payment of income tax, the tax payer has to file his IT return. The question is before which date the tax payer need to file his IT return. If you analyze IT act, then you will find three deadlines for filling your tax return.

IT Return On or before the due date

IT return as required by law has to be filled on or before the due date that is applicable to the financial year. As per IT act, the due date of filling IT return is 31st July. Such date can be extended by CBDT. If it is extended then the extended date will be taken as the due date and tax payers are required to file IT return before that date.

If you have any tax liability then that has to be paid before filling your tax return. Filling IT return before the due date gives you lots of benefit that you will not be getting if you file your IT return after the due date.

IT Return within 1 year from the end of FY

If you missed the due date of filling tax return (ITR) then you can still file your ITR before the end of one year from the financial year end with interest penalty that is applicable to you.

Recommended read: Interest and penalty for not filling ITR before the date

IT Return within 2 years from the end of FY

If you have not filled before the end of 1 year from the FY then tax department will allow you to file your tax return with interest penalty as applicable to you. Additional penalty of Rs. 5, 000 can be charged on you if assessing officer asked for it.

So you can file your IT return within 2 years from the end of FY. If you choose to file IT return after the end of one year from the financial year then another financial year would have been over and you need to file ITR for that. So two IT returns are liable to be filled which is also allowed according to IT act. How about the year prior to these two years? Can you file ITR for that? No, you can not, as IT act prohibits you to do that.

Let us understand this with an example;

Financial Year Due date One year from the end of financial year Two years from the end of financial year
2010-2011 31st July 2011 31st March 2012 31st March 2013
2011-2012 31st July 2012 31st March 2013 31st March 2014
2012-2013 31st July 2013 31st March 2014 31st March 2015
2013-2014 31st July 2014 31st March 2015 31st March 2016

Financial year ends on 31st march on which IT filling of another financial year’s tax return ends. In our example financial year of 2012-2013 ends on 31st march 2013 on which IT return filling for financial year 2010-2011 ends and you can not file your IT return for financial year 2010-2011 after that date. However you have another year left for financial year 2011-2012 to file your tax return. So after 31st march 2013 you can file tax return for the financial year 2011-2012 and 2012-2013.

Recommended Read: Filling income tax return after the due date

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