Time limit for filing belated income tax returns u/s 139(4) reduced by one assessment year-Budget-201617

Time limit for filing belated income tax returns u/s 139(4) reduced by one assessment year-Budget-2016-17. Amendment applicable from AY 2017-18 onwards

Time Limit for Filing belated return for AY 2016-17 is 31-03-2018

On the subject of last date for filing a valid return of income for AY 2016-17, there is a wide spread confusion in public which is aggravated by misleading social media messages which state that the last date for filing belated ITR for AY 2016-17 is 31st March, 2017. 

Kindly note that the amendment made by the Finance Act, 2017 is applicable from assessment year 2017-2018 and the due date for filing bleated ITR for AY 2016-17 is up to 31st March, 2018.

Even the incometax efiling website for removal of doubts, has posted the following message under update section 

Time limit for filing belated returns

Amendment in time limit for filing belated return from AY 2017-18

In order to rationalise the time allowed for filing of returns, completion of proceedings, and realization of revenue without undue compliance burden on the taxpayer, and to promote the culture of compliance, The Budget 2016-17 has proposed to amend section 139(4) of the Income Tax Act, 1961 as under:

Existing Provisions Proposed Amendments

Existing provision of sub-section (4) of section 139 deals with belated returns and provides that a person who has not furnished a return within the time allowed to him under sub-section (1), or within the time allowed under a notice issued under sub-section (1) of section 142, may furnish the return for any previous year at any time before the expiry of one year from the end of the relevant assessment year or before the completion of the assessment, whichever is earlier.

In other word a belated income tax return for FY 2015-16 (AY 2016-17) can be filed up to 31-03-2018 or before the completion of assessment whichever is earlier

It is also proposed to substitute sub-section (4) of the section 139 to provide that any person who has not furnished a return within the time allowed to him under sub-section (1), may furnish the return for any previous year at any time before the end of the relevant assessment year or before the completion of the assessment, whichever is earlier.

 

Implications: As per amended provisions the time limit for filing belated return has been drastically reduced by one assessment year subject to completion of assessment. In other word a belated income tax return for FY 2016-17 (AY 2017-18) can be now filed only up to 31-03-2018 or before the completion of assessment whichever is earlier

The proposed amendment will take effect from 1st day of April, 2017 and will, accordingly apply in relation to assessment year 2017-2018 and subsequent years.

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