Time Limit for filing Tax Returns

Last updated on Jun 2, 2022

For the financial year of 2019-20, the Income Tax Return (ITR) general filing deadline is November 30, 2020. The deadline to file belated and/or revised tax returns for the previous financial year of 2018-19 is July 31, 2020.

You can find other important due dates and income tax timelines for the year 2020 in this Tax Calendar.

In your Income Tax Return (ITR) form, you will have to select a category to file the form, depending on:

  • Date of filing the ITR form – You will be filing the form on/before the due date, or after due date
  • Type of income tax return – Generally, you will be filing an original ITR form applicable to that assessment year. After filing the original form, suppose you later have to correct or modify any details in the form. Then, you will be filing another revised or modified return in reference to the original.

Different Timelines while filing tax returns

Thus, different income tax returns can be filed as:

On or before the due date 1

For example, the filing deadline is 30th November. If Priti files her income tax return on 15th November, then she has filed the ITR before the due date.

Belated return (after due date)2

If you have not submitted your income tax return within the time allowed to you, then you may submit the return for any financial year at any time before the end of the relevant assessment year, or before the completion of the assessment (whichever is earlier).

For example, take a situation where you had to submit your income tax return for the financial year 2019-20 by 30th June 2020, but you didn’t do so. In this case, your assessment year will be 2020-21. If the assessment year is ending on 31st March 2021, you will have to submit your return by this date (end of assessment year). If the income tax assessment happens before the end of the assessment year, then you will have to submit your delayed return before the assessment.

Revised return 3

After submitting a return/belated return, if you discover any omission or any wrong statement, you can submit a revised return at any time before the end of the relevant assessment year or before the completion of the assessment, whichever is earlier.

For example, if you submitted your income tax return for the financial year 2019-20 by the deadline of 30th June 2020, your assessment year will be 2020-21. After submitting the return, if you realise that you have given some wrong information in the form, then you have to submit another revised form. This should have the correct information. If the assessment year is ending on 31st March 2021, you will have to submit your revised return by this date (end of assessment year). If the income tax assessment happens before the end of the assessment year, then you will have to submit your revised return before the assessment.

Modified return 4

This applies in a situation where you have entered into an agreement after submitting your income tax return. If the agreement is applicable to or affects the financial year for which you have filed income tax, you will have to submit a modified return in accordance with the agreement.

For example, if you submitted your income tax return for the financial year 2019-20 by the deadline of 30th June 2020. Your assessment year will be 2020-21. After submitting the return, if you enter into an agreement that impacts your income tax returns for the financial year, then you have to submit a modified return including the details of the agreement.

The modified return should be filed within three months from the end of the month in which you entered the agreement. For instance, if you have entered into the agreement in July, you have to submit the modified return by the end of October (3 months).

When delay has been permitted by income tax authorities 5

The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) may authorise any income-tax authority to allow an application from you. The application may be for income tax exemption, deduction, refund, relief etc. Your application may be allowed/accepted even after the expiry period. You can take the help of a Chartered Accountant or Lawyer to do this.

  1. Section 139(1), Income Tax Act, 1961[]
  2. Section 139(4), Income Tax Act, 1961[]
  3. Section 139(5), Income Tax Act, 1961[]
  4. Section 92CD, Income Tax Act, 1961[]
  5. Section 119(2)(b), Income Tax Act, 1961[]

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Related Resources

What is Income Tax?

Income tax is a tax levied by the Government of India on the income of every person. The Income Tax Act, 1961 deals with it.

Income Tax Returns or Forms (ITR)

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