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How to File a Late Tax Return and Protect your Refunds?

We begin by listing why we should file our past due return now. Then guide if we owe more than we can pay. After this, advice on what will happen if we don't pay voluntarily. Then we help them understand a stepwise process for filing our past due return.

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How to File a Late Tax Return and Protect your Refunds? : Introduction

An Income Tax Return is a form framed by the Government to file information about an individual’s/business income and tax to the Income Tax Department. The person’s tax liability will be calculated based on their global income.

Why Is It Important To File ITR On Time?

According to the Income Tax Act 1961, filings of ITR once a year will legitimate the earnings and investments of a person. Also, you can get an income TDS refund if you have paid excess taxes to the Government.

An individual can always file a late tax return, even if it isn’t followed up for several years. However, it is not possible to get a TDS refund since we have three years to claim a tax refund in most cases. Hence, it is critical to file the Tax return on time to avoid last-minute stress and unnecessary penalties.

Here are some reasons to emphasis why you should not miss the deadline to file your Income Tax Return.

  • Avoid Interest And Penalties

One of the negative aspects of filing your tax return late is that you need to pay a penalty interest of 5% of the tax. Failure to pay the penalty will also cost you 0.5% per month. Hence the sooner you submit the ITR file, the lesser the interest and payment penalties.

  • Don’t Risk The refund.

You are eligible for a TDS refund and interest payment when you file your tax returns on time. In case you miss the deadline, you are forfeited to this benefit. So, if you are due a refund, it is advisable to claim it within three years from the due date.

  • Prevent Obstacles In Obtaining Loans

While requesting a business or higher education loan, you should submit copies of filed tax returns to financial firms or mortgage lenders. Hence, If you don’t file ITR on time, you may face several issues while obtaining loans.

  • Leverage The Benefits Of Social Security

If you don’t file your ITR for your self-employment income, your information will not be reported to the Social Security Administration. In this case, you will not be entitled to get any credit toward retirement or disability benefits.


  • Why Should You Pay Voluntarily?

People think that filing tax returns are voluntary. Hence they dismiss it, considering it burdensome. However, this is not a healthy option since filing a tax return is not only to claim your TDS refund but also seen as a social and moral duty of every responsible citizen.

Even though it is not a mandatory option, it holds numerous benefits for individuals, especially while applying for loans and credit cards. If you fail to file ITR, the Income Tax Department will do the following.

  • File a substitute return, not giving you credit for deductions and exemptions
  • Send you a Notice of Deficiency (CP3219N), a 90-day letter with the tax assessment.

How to File a Late Tax Return and Protect Your TDS Refund?

As you have already missed the date, you may think that a few more days/weeks don’t matter. But, it is essential to file it as soon as possible. The earlier you file your tax, the better your chances of claiming your TDS refund. 

However, before you begin, ensure to check the appropriate tax form for you for the assessment year, depending on your income source, since the Income Tax Department has been introducing new ITR forms every year.

Remember, the steps to file the Late Tax Return are similar to the ITR filing process before the deadline. The only difference is you need to file the Late ITR under section 139(4), whereas the latter will be done under 139(1).

Here’s the step-by-step guide to help you file a belated Tax Return.

  • Step 1- Go to the official income tax e-filing website.
  • Step 2 – Click ‘Login Here’ and fill in your details, including your User ID, Password, Date of Birth, and Captcha code.
  • Step 3 – Hit ‘Submit’. You are now logged in to your account.
  • Step 4 – Select the e-file tab and click on the ‘Prepare and Submit ITR online’ option.
  • Step 5 – Select the respective form and assessment year carefully since you file the tax return late, after the deadline.
  • Step 6 – Once you have entered the necessary details, you will be moved to the ITR form page.
  • Step 7 – While filling up the form, choose the option ‘After Due Date 139(4)’ under ‘Return Filed under the section’. If not, your request will be rejected.
  • Step 8 – Select’ Preview and Select Option’ and check all the details entered by you.
  • Step 9 – Once after the final submission, remember to verify your ITR. Unless you verify it, it won’t be considered valid.
  • Step 10 – You can verify the ITR using one of these methods – Aadhar, Net Banking, or OTP.
  • Step 11 – Once the verification is completed, the Income Tax Department will start processing your ITR, and then you will be notified through SMS and e-mail.

How to File a Late Tax Return and Protect your Refunds? : How to Check Your IRS Status Online?

If you want to know the tax return stage and check your TDS refund status, you can do it by following these simple steps.

1. Not using Login Credentials 

  • Visit the website and click on the ITR status tab on the left side.
  • You will be directed to a new page, where you have to fill in your details such as PAN number, IRT acknowledgement number, and the captcha code.
  • Once you hit the submit button, your status will be displayed.

2. Using Login Credentials

  • Go to the official website and log in using your credentials.
  • Select the option ‘View Returns/Forms
  • In the dropdown menu, choose assessment year and income tax returns.
  • Once done, your TDS refund status will appear on the screen

Final thoughts

Are you due to file your tax return? Even though you have missed filing your taxes, you still have the time to make it. Now that you know the importance of filing your ITR and protecting your TDS refund, you might want to do it as soon as possible. Filing late tax returns with the professional help of Vakilsearch is simple, safe, and guaranteed to get you the TDS refund you deserve. 


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