Filing Returns for Previous Years

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Filing Returns for Previous Years: Belated Return and Condonation of Delay

The due date for filing income tax returns for the AY 2022-23 is approaching. While the assessees are getting their returns filed for the ongoing assessment year, most first-time return filers have a pertinent question in mind – How to file income tax returns for last 3 years or how to file income tax returns for last 2 years etc.?

For instance, the current return filing is open for AY 2022-23 (i.e., Financial Year 2021-22). However, many assessees require returns for more than 1 year. This might be to avail of any loan or take benefit of any scheme etc. What can such assessees do if they have not filed their previous returns? Can they file returns for previous years now? Let’s find out.

Filing of Previous Years' Returns

Currently, the return filing option is available only for the AY 2022-23. Therefore, the returns of years preceding AY 2022-23 cannot be filed. However, income tax law has provided an option to the assessees who miss out on the due date for filing an income tax return to file their returns after the due date. This is known as belated return.

What is Belated Return?

Belated returns are the income tax returns filed after the due date of filing income tax returns. Governed by Section 139(4), belated returns can be filed if the assessee does not file the return within the due date specified under section 139(1). The due date for filing the belated return is earlier of 3 months before the end of the relevant assessment year or before the completion of the assessment whichever is earlier.

For instance, for the year ended 31st March 2022, the relevant assessment year shall be AY 2022-23. Therefore, for a normal individual assessee having a salary income, the original due date for filing return of income [as per Section 139(1)] shall be 31st July 2022. If he fails to file the return of income on or before 31st July 2022, then he can still file the belated return. The due date for filing belated return shall be 31st December 2022 (i.e., 3 months before the end of the relevant assessment year). However, if the income tax department carries out the best judgement assessment of such assessee, then the due date for filing the belated return shall be anytime before the completion of such assessment by the department.

Key Points While Filing Belated Returns

While filing the belated returns, you shall keep the following points in mind:

Late Fee:

You shall be liable to pay a late fee on filing the belated return. The amount of penalty shall be Rs. 1000 if the total income does not exceed Rs. 5 lakhs. However, if the total income exceeds Rs. 5 lakhs, then the amount of late fee shall be Rs. 5000. Further, no late fee shall be levied if the total income of the assessee does not exceed Rs. 2,50,000.


Further, the assessee shall be liable to pay the interest on the tax liability due. The interest shall be charged as per Section 234A and shall be equal to 1% per month or part of the month on the amount of tax remaining unpaid. The interest will be levied from the date immediately after the expiry of the due date till the return is furnished by the assessee.


Filing your return after the due date will not allow you to carry forward your losses (except for house property loss). Therefore, if you have incurred business loss or capital loss, then you shall file your return on time in order to carry forward your losses. 

Condonation of Delay

In certain specific and genuine cases, the income tax department allows the assessee to file their return of income post the due date for filing belated return as well. The assessee needs to file a request application for condonation of delay citing reasons for failure to file the income tax return within the due date. Following is the procedure for filing the condonation of delay request under income tax:

  • Login to the income tax portal using your user ID and Password
  • Click on the ‘Services’ tab and then the ‘Condonation Request’ tab
  • Select the option – Allow ITR filing after time-barred
  • On the page that appears, click on the ‘Create Condonation Request’ tab
  • Create the condonation request. You will be required to submit the following details:
  1. Request Category
  2. Assessment Year
  3. Claim Value
  4. Filing Type
  5. Reason for Delay
  6. ITR Type
  • After selecting the above from the respective drop-down menus, upload your ITR for the relevant assessment year selected. Only JSON files can be uploaded here.
  • Upload the documents relevant to the reason for filing the condonation request.
  • Once the ITR and all the supporting documents are uploaded, click on submit. Once submitted successfully, e-verify the return.
  • Once the return is e-verified successfully, the transaction ID will be displayed on your screen. Save the transaction ID for all your future references. You will also receive a confirmation message on your registered mobile number and email ID.

Following were the ways by which you can file your ITR for previous years even after the due date. In case you are facing difficulty in filing your ITRs for current or previous years, then feel free to contact your eAuditors.

Author : Dipen

Date     : 30-Aug-2022