Now , it is well known that Income Tax Act prescribes due date u/s 139(1) and those who could not file the return within due date , late return filing is possible as per section 139(4) of the Income Tax Act. But , what if one could not file return even after the last date prescribed u/s 139(4). Does he /she/it lose all right to file a tax return? Even among such cases of default in filing of return upto the date , following types of cases can be generally seen
- A person has income below the exemption limit, but tds on certain come was made. He did not file the tax return , either due to ignorance or no knowledge about tax deduction or for other reasons . Now , he desires to get tax refund or carry forward of loss if any .
- A person has income in excess of exemption limit, or a person who necessarily required to file tax return ( like company or firm ) and he/it pays all the tax including interest within time allowed for filing tax return. But for some reason, could not file tax return within the time allowed u/s 139(4) i.e late tax return.
- A person has income more than exemption limit, has not paid tax on the income and also did not file tax return.
In author’s opinion, in cases (i) and (ii) , a tax return can be filed even after the last date of filing return u/s 139(4) and that return has to be processed and assessed as per Income Tax Act. This is what High Court said and departments SLP was quashed by Supreme Court .The third case is a case where even the appellate authorities will be bound to go against the taxpayer , if no facts regarding such failure to pay tax and file return are brought on record.