If you missed the due date for filing income tax returns, you haven't missed the bus entirely. How? The last date for filing returns for salaried individuals and companies was July 31.
The Income Tax Department will still allow you to file your return of income for the assessment year ended March 31. So if you missed the due date for filing, you can still do it by March 31, 2015, without any penalty.
However, you may lose claim to tax refunds when you file it after the due date. For example, if you made some tax saving investment during the assessment year and it does not reflect in your Form 16 because you could not submit proof of the investment to your office in time, you are likely to lose out on the refund you were eligible for from the tax department.
"Deductions under section 80C like life insurance, PPF (public provident fund), tuition fees (for full-time education of children) etc. are not available in case returns are filed after the due date," Omshila Karki, a tax consultant said.
Also when you claim refunds after the due date, it takes longer to process and hence you get the refund that much later, she said.
You need to be extra careful while filing tax returns after the due date, because filings post the deadline cannot be altered. So, there is no margin for error, unlike when filing within the due date, when you can make changes to your tax returns as many times as required.
In case you owe some money to the taxmen from 'Income from other sources', a one per cent penalty will be charged on the outstanding amount of unpaid tax for every month of delay, when you file your returns after the due date.
If you miss the March 31, 2015 deadline as well, the taxmen can levy a fine of Rs 5,000.
Income tax returns for the assessment year 2013-14 have to be compulsorily filed by everyone whose income is over Rs 2 lakh. If one has a taxable income of over Rs 5 lakh, one has to compulsorily file the returns online