Important ITR Filing Deadlines That Taxpayers Shouldn’t Miss!

Important ITR Filing Deadlines That Taxpayers Shouldn't Miss!

The government has extended the deadline to file an income tax return (ITR) for individual taxpayers of the assessment year 2020-21 and (FY 2019-20) from the previous deadline of December 31, 2020, to January 10, 2021. The deadline for filing ITR for the financial year 2019-20 by companies has also been extended by 15 days till February 15 from January 31.

As per the IT Department “the extension of the deadline to file ITR for FY 2019-20 till January 10 is for those individuals whose accounts are not required to be audited and who usually file their income tax return using the ITR-1 or ITR-4 forms as applicable.”

The deadline for other taxpayers whose accounts are required to be audited (including partners of a firm) and/or those who have to submit reports in respect to international financial transactions has been extended to February 15, 2021. The date for filing the tax audit report too has been extended to February 15.

Also read: Key Metrics in Company Financials that every Investor looks before Investing


Check here the important ITR filing deadlines for ITR filing of the assessment year 2020-21 and (FY 2019-20).

Important ITR filing deadlines you need to know:

  • The due date for ITR filing (for salaried individuals) for individual taxpayers whose accounts are not required to be audited – January 10, 2021.
  • The due date for ITR filing for an assessee whose accounts are required to be audited- January 15, 2021.
  • The date for stocking various audit reports under the Income-tax Act – January 15, 2021.
  • Last Date for making Declaration under Vivad Se Vishwas Scheme – January 31, 2021.

The Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) extended the due date for filing of annual GST returns for 2019-20 by composition dealers by 2 months from December 31, 2020, to February 28, 2021.

This is the third extension in as many months given by the government. The original deadline for filing the return was July 15, which was earlier extended till August 31 and then to December 31.

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What if you miss ITR filing deadline on Jan 10, 2021?

Important ITR Filing Deadlines That Taxpayers Shouldn't Miss!

As per the press release dated December 30, 2020, the government has extended the deadline to file an income tax return for those taxpayers whose accounts are not required to be audited to January 10, 2021. One important difference between missing the ITR filing deadline last year and missing it – January 10 – this year is that you will have to pay a penalty of Rs 10,000 this time, unlike last year when the penalty for belated ITR filing within a few months of missing the deadline was only Rs 5000.

However, this penalty or late filing fee will only be applicable if your net total income (i.e., income after claiming eligible deductions and tax exemptions) exceeds Rs 5 lakh in the financial year for which the ITR is being filed. If your net total income does not exceed Rs 5 lakh in the financial year, then late filing fee will be Rs 1,000.

The normal deadline to file Income Tax Returns (ITRs) for an individual is July 31 every year. If you miss the deadline and file a belated return by December 31 of the same year, then the late filing fee is Rs 5000. If you file, the belated return after December 31 but on or before March 31 of the relevant assessment year then the late filing fee is Rs 10,000. As the time period between July to December 31 would already be over once the new deadline of January 10, 2021, is missed therefore the higher penalty of Rs 10,000 would automatically become applicable.

A late filing fee under section 234F is usually levied as follows:

a) Rs 5,000 if the ITR is filed after the expiry of the deadline but on or before the December 31

b) Rs 10,000 if the ITR is filed between January 1 and March 31.

However, for small taxpayers whose total income does not exceed Rs 5 lakh, then late filing fee of Rs 1000 is levied.

Even individual taxpayers whose income is above the exemption limit but have already paid their entire tax due will have to pay the penalty as applicable if they file a belated ITR i.e. after the January 10 deadline.

Levying of late filing fee on belated ITR was announced in Union Budget 2017 and became effective for the income tax returns filed for FY 2017-18 onwards. Read more: Internal Audit and its Value to the Organization


What if income is below the exemption limit?

Effective from FY 2019-20, ITR filing is also mandatory if you meet certain conditions, even if your gross total income is below the basic exemption limit i.e. there is no tax liability. These conditions are:

a) If you have spent Rs 2 lakh or more on foreign travel on self or any other person in the relevant financial year;

b) If you have paid an electricity bill of Rs 1 lakh or more in the relevant FY; and

c) If you have deposited Rs 1 crore or more in one or more current accounts maintained with a bank or co-operative bank.

In such cases, if ITR is not filed before the expiry of deadline i.e. January 10, 2021, then late filing fee will be levied on filing a belated ITR. However, the fee amount will not exceed Rs 1,000 in such cases. On the other hand, if ITR filing is not mandatory under the income tax laws, then no penalty will be levied even if the ITR is filed after the due date.

Read more: ESI and PF Registration – Procedures and Its Benefits


Final thoughts:

The government has extended the deadline to file an income tax return (ITR) for individual taxpayers of the assessment year 2020-21 and (FY 2019-20) from the previous deadline of December 31, 2020, to January 10, 2021. We have provided the info about what should be done if you miss filing your ITR on January 10, 2021, and what to be done if your income is below the exemption level. We’ve provided all the important ITR filing deadlines for ITR filing of the assessment year 2020-21 and (FY 2019-20). We hope this article was helpful. 

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