Can I file my Last Year Tax Return?

File my Last Year Tax Return
File my Last Year Tax Return

There are many who might not have filed last year returns and wondering if they can file their last year tax returns this year? And if yes what is the process to do so?

The good news is yes you can file your income tax returns of last year and here are more details.

At this point of time you are eligible to file two tax returns – One for the present assessment year and one for the previous assessment year. 

So as of today you can file returns for present assessment year 2017-18 (FY 2016-17) and last Assessment Year 2016-17 (FY 2015-16).

Also Read: ITR 2017 – Which ITR Form to use for AY 2017-18?

The table below gives you the details:

Assessment yearFinancial YearTax Return can be filed byImplication for the Tax Payer
2015-16 or before2014-15 or beforeCannot be filed without IT department permission
  • Cannot file ITR without involving IT department.
  • Tax officer has to do tax assessment based on best information he has which might result in increased tax liability
  • Penalty of Rs 5,000 can be levied
  • Late payment fee of 1% per month on any tax due
  • Cannot file revised ITR
  • Cannot carry forward certain losses
  • Well Done The ITR has been filed on time
  • No Penalty
  • Late payment fee of 1% per month on any tax due
  • Can file revised ITR (changed in Budget 2016)
  • Cannot carry forward certain losses
2017-182016-17After 31-Mar-17

Ultimate Tax Saving ebook with tax calculator FY 2017-18

Tips for filing last year return:

  1. The process of filing return does not change irrespective of year in question
  2. You will need to use ITR Forms for the Assessment Year you are filing tax return for (as ITR forms change every year)
  3. The forms can be downloaded from the Income Tax Return filing website
  4. It’s good idea to file return for earlier year followed by present year. This is sequential way and also you can take advantage of earlier year losses.

Also Read: 21 changes in Income Tax laws in FY 2017-18

Impact of late filing of tax return:

Here is a list of benefits you miss on in case you skip the July 31 deadline:

1% Monthly Late payment fee on tax due: In case after adding up all the TDS and advance taxes, if there is any tax payable from your side, you will need to pay monthly 1% late fee on the amount due for each month of delay.

Late refund: if you file your ITR late, you will also get your excess tax paid refunded late. This is a loss as you could have put to the money to better use and you obviously loose on the interest part.

Cannot revise your ITR: You cannot file a revised return in case you filed your original ITR late. This can be a major drawback if you find some error on a later date or just forgot to take advantage of some tax exemption.

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Here are some posts which can help you with e-filing of ITR 2017:

1. Which ITR form to fill for Tax Returns for AY 2017-18?

2. 9 key changes in ITR Forms for AY 2017-18

3. How to Claim Tax Exemptions while filing ITR?

4. How to Link Your PAN Number to Aadhaar Online & Offline?

5. Use Challan 280 to Pay Self Assessment Tax Online

6. Form 26AS – Verify Before Filing Tax Return

7. 5 Ways to e-Verify your Income Tax Returns

8. What if You DO NOT file your Returns by due Date?

9. Can I file my Last Year Tax Return?

10. Why and How to Revise Your Tax Return?

11. What does Intimation U/S 143(1) of Income Tax Act mean?


Cannot carry forward your losses: you cannot carry forward following losses in case of delayed filing:

  1. Speculation loss,
  2. business loss excluding loss due to un-absorbed depreciation and capital exp on scientific research,
  3. short term capital loss,
  4. long term capital loss,
  5. loss due to owning and maintenance of horse races

However you can still carry forward loss from House property. The above list is not comprehensive and may impact you the wrong way in case of late filing of tax returns.

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