In the last few weeks, I have got queries asking if people can file their last year (AY 2017-18) tax returns? This question makes sense as many people are not aware of the change in rules. Also, when people try to file the last year tax returns, they seen an option to do so in the income tax return filing website.
Unfortunately starting last year, the time to file income tax returns is limited to the March 31 of the relevant assessment year. So, for AY 2017-18 (FY 2016-17), the last date to file returns was March 31, 2018. You cannot file your income tax returns for that year any more. As stated earlier the website does give an option to file last year return but you would get error “Due date for filing this ITR under selected return filing section is over”.
Also starting this year (AY 2018-19), the rules about income tax return deadlines are more stringent. In case you do not file your tax returns by July 31, 2018 (extended to August 31, 2018) but do before December 31, 2018, there would be additional penalty of Rs 5,000 under newly introduced section 234F. in case you delay further, the penalty would increase to Rs 10,000. However, in case the income is less that Rs 5 lakh the penalty is limited to Rs 1,000. After March 31, 2019 you would not be able to file your income tax returns for AY 2018-19.
Here are some posts which can help you with e-filing of ITR 2018: