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Can I File Income Tax Return (ITR) For AY 2016-17 (FY 2015-16) Now?

Updated on: 23 Nov, 2023 01:22 AM

As 31 March is approaching nearby, Aarav was making calculations for his current year taxes (i.e FY 2017-18: AY 2018-19). He wasarranging documents for the home loan application.
Suddenly he started trembling
He had not filed his ITR for FY 2015-16; AY 2016-17!
Have you ever been in a situation like that of Aarav??
If yes, you need not panic as you still have the last chance to file your pending Income Tax Return for FY 2015-16 (AY 2016-17) till 31 March 2018.
Let's understand in detail…

Who is required to file ITR for the FY 2015-16 (AY 2016-17)?

It is mandatory to file ITR as per the Income Tax Department in case of every-

  • Company
  • Partnership firm / LLP
  • Individual and HUF satisfying certain Conditions

Conditions in which Individuals/HUF are required to file the ITR:

  • If your gross total income before deductions under chapter VIA and exemption u/s 10(38) exceeds basic exemption limit (BEL = 2,50,000 citizen below 60 years, 3,00,000 – senior citizen, 5,00,000 – super senior citizen)
  • Even if you have any exempt long term capital gains (LTCG) from sale of shares.
  • If you desire to claim TDS or advance tax refund
  • Willing to carry forward losses
  • If you are resident (not applicable to NRI & Not Ordinary Resident) and has
    1. Signing authority in any foreign account
    2. Financial interest in asset located outside India
  • If you are looking forward to take treaty benefit under section 90,90A & 91
  • If you receive any income from trust, Non profit educational and medical organisations, Research org, news agency, trade union and others prescribed.

Let us assume Aarav falls in any of the above category namely, he is an individual having taxable income in FY 2015-16. So he need to file his ITR for this year.

What is the time limit/due date for filing Income Tax Return for FY 2015-16(AY 2016-17)?

Due date for filing ITR depends upon category of person who is filing such return:

Type of Assessee Time limit for filing ITR
  • Companies
  • Firms & Working Partner of the Firms , where accounts are required to be audited
30th September 2016
Others who are not required to get accounts audited eg: salaried individual or a small proprietor 31st July 2016 ( Extended upto 5th Aug 2016)

Since Aarav is an individual, let us presume he need not get audit done, then, time limit for filing taxes in his case was 31st July 2016.

Missed the deadline for FY 2015-16(A.Y.2016-17)! Can you file now?

If you have not filed income tax return for F.Y. 2015-16(AY 2016-17) before the due date. You can still file till 31st March 2018. But, your return will be called a belated return.

Missed the deadline for FY 2015-16(A.Y.2016-17)! Can you file now?

What is Belated Return?

Any return filed after the due date specified above. The ITR filed is called belated return as per section 139(4).

But there is time limit for filing such return.

For FY 2015-16; AY 2016-17 belated return can be filed till one year from the end of the relevant assessment year. Which means Aarav can file ITR for (FY 2015-16; AY 2016-17) till 31 March 2018.

Note: The above time limit has changed vide Budget 2016. As a result of this notification from FY 2016-17; AY 2017-18 belated return for a year can be filed till end of relevant Assessment year. I.e. for FY 2016-17; AY 2017-18 belated return can be filed till 31 March 2018.

Why should you file Income Tax return for FY 2015-16?

There are various benefits of filing belated return which Aarav can leverage like

  • Claim Refunds
  • Avoid Notices for penalty and prosecution
  • Carry Forward Loss from Home Property
  • Create Credibility for Loan
  • Create capital
  • Help in VISA, credit card and loans etc.

What are the demerits of filing the belated return u/s 139(4) for FY 2015-16?

Though filing of return has numerous benefits, when filing a belated return you should be prepared to face these demerits:-

  • You will be liable to penal interest under section 234 A @ 1% per month or part of the month along with the tax due, for the delay in filing the return of income: if any tax is payable by you for that financial year.
  • A penalty of Rs. 5,000 u/s 271F may be imposed on you, by your assessing officer.
  • If you have a loss under any head of income, you cannot carry it forward (other than loss from house property)
  • Cannot revise belated return filed for FY 2015-16. But a belated return filed for FY 2016-17 can be revised as a result of amendment in income Tax Law.
  • Interest on TDS refundable will be calculated from the date of filing of return and not from the date of deduction.

Mistakes to avoid while filing belated income tax return for F.Y. 2015-16(AY 2016-17)?

You should be very cautious while filing the return for the F.Y. 2015-16 , as this your opportunity also you will not be able to revise the return. Here a list of top 5 mistakes to avoid while filing ITR for the F.Y. 2015-16:

  • Check your 26AS to see, to check your TDS deduction with your Form 16.Also, check if there is any other TDS deduction coming in your account.
  • Disclose all your sources of income, even if the income is an exempt income . Many people forget to disclose their interest income from FD, Capital Gains on switch of Units of same mutual funds house etc.
  • Calculate your taxes correctly. Your tax rate and income tax exemption limit of F.Y. 2015-16 will apply, not the current one.
  • Tax deductions like 80C, 80D etc would be claimed keeping in mind those available in the FY 2015-16.

Though Aarav can still file income tax return for FY 2015-16; AY 2016-17. The return so filed by aarav will be known as belated return u/s 139(4) of Income tax Act 1961. There are various things he needs to take note of while filing such return and for better understanding and easiest assistance in filing his taxes he may take help from our tax experts.

CA Abhishek Soni
CA Abhishek Soni

Abhishek Soni is a Chartered Accountant by profession & entrepreneur by passion. He is the co-founder & CEO of Tax2win is amongst the top 25 emerging startups of Asia and authorized ERI by the Income Tax Department. In the past, he worked in EY and comes with wide industry experience from telecom, retail to manufacturing to entertainment where he has handled various national and international assignments.