As per the present tax laws of India, an individual, partnership firm, company and other eligible persons can file their income tax return or return of income until the completion of two financial years from the end of the financial year for which the return is to be filed.
For instance, if return of income or ITR is for the financial year 2014-2015, it can be filed on or before 31st march 2017. This means, 2 years from the end of financial year 2014-2015.
Similarly as on 31st March 2016 (i.e. In financial year 2015-2016), return of income for the financial year 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 can only be filed with the department, returns related to financial year 2012-13 and prior to that cannot be filed.
If you have forgotten to file your tax return for financial year 2014-2015 then you can still file it on or before 31st march 2017.
This means, if assessee has missed the last date of filing (i.e. two years from the end of the financial year) then system will not allow to e-file the return of income.
Assessee can file last year return and the current year return at the same time as its not prohibited or restricted by the Income tax act 1961 to file two returns at the same time.
This means, one individual at a particular time or date can file tax return for two financial years at the same time as returns prior to two years will be time barred and could not be filed.
Does it mean that you should file your return of income after the due date as specified in the Income tax act 1961 or as notified by CBDT?
Income tax act 1961 is very specific about this provision. As per the act, if a taxpayer does not have any tax liability then he or she can file his or her return of income after the due date but before the last date (i.e. two years from the end of the financial year) without paying interest.
Table showing last date of filing tax return
|Financial Year||Assessment Year||Last date for Filing tax return|
|2012-2013||2013-2014||31st March 2015|
|2013-2014||2014-2015||31st march 2016|
|2014-2015||2015-2016||31st March 2017|
|2015-2016||2016-2017||31st March 2018|