How many Previous Years’ Income Tax Returns can be filed after Due date?

Taxes and Death are certain. As a responsible citizen, you need to file your Income Tax Returns in the most honest way and more importantly, you should do it before the applicable due date.

The recent initiatives taken up by the Govt and the Income Tax department have been yielding good results as far as tax compliance is concerned. But, there is a long-way to go, to increase the tax-base in India.

“The Finance Minister in his Budget 2018 speech has stated that in 2016-17, 85.51 lakh new taxpayers filed their returns of income as against 66.26 lakhs in the immediately preceding year. The Number of effective tax payer base increased from 6.47 crores at the beginning of FY 2014-15 to 8.27 crores at the end of FY 2016-17”

In case, you have missed filing your Income Tax Returns for previous years due to ignorance (or) if you have skipped it intentionally, it is advisable to file your ITR at the earliest. Kindly do not take any chances, asnon-filing of ITR can lead to serious consequences.

If you are planning to file your ITR of past years now, is it possible to file ITRs of past many Assessment years? How many Previous Years’ Income Tax Returns can be filed after the due date? – Let’s discuss….

Can I file Income Tax Returns of previous financial years old ITRs how to file ITR of previous assessment years

How many past years’ Income Tax Returns can be filed?

Every individual whose gross total income exceeds the taxable limit is liable to file income tax return (ITR). Therefore, if your income is over Rs 2.5 lakh, then it is compulsory for you to file your income tax return in India.

As of now, in this financial year you can file your income tax returns for the previous two financial years.

For example : In the FY 2017-18, up till 31st March 2018, you can file return for the previous two financial years i.e., FY 2016-17 (or AY 2017-18) and FY 2015-16 (AY 2016-17).

Can I file my FY 2015-16 / AY 2016-17 ITR now? – Yes, you can file it on or before 31-March-2018.

Can I file my FY 2016-17 / AY 2017-18 ITR now? – Yes, till 31-March-2018.

Can I file my FY 2017-18 / AY 2018-19 ITR now? – Yes, till 31-March-2019.

Can I file my FY 2018-19 / AY 2019-20 ITR now?

With the amendment of Finance Act 2016, from AY 2017-18 (FY 2016-17) Income Tax belated returns should now be filed before the end of the relevant Assessment Year only.

For example, return for FY 2018-19 can be belatedly filed on or before 31-03-2020only.

Therefore, ideally,31st March, 2018 wasthe deadline for all the belated tax return filers for the Assessment Years 2016-17 & 2017-18.dont miss the deadline

The ITR of FY 2018-19 (AY 2019-20) can be filed before 31st Aug, 2019. In case, you miss this deadline, you can file a belated return (or can revise, if filed) before 31st March, 2020 only.(Kindly note that belated returns of past many years can be filed in response to an Income Tax Notice.)

Another important point to note is that from the Assessment Year 2018-19, the time limit for filing a revised return rectifying any omission, error etc., made in the original tax return has also been reduced and such revision has to be done on or before the end of the relevant AY.

For example : Let’s say you file your FY 2017-18 ITR before 31st July, 2018. Later, you may realize that there has been an error in the original ITR and would like to revise it. In such a case, you can revise it on or before 31st March, 2019 only. (For Financial Year 2017-18, the relevant Assessment Year is 2018-19.)

Belated Returns & Drawbacks

Though you are given some time to file a belated return, such returns come with some drawbacks and penalties as below ;

  • For returns of FY 2017-18 and onwards, penalty of Rs 5,000 will be charged for returns filed after due date but before 31stDecember. If returns are filed after 31stDecember, a penalty of Rs 10,000 shall apply. However, penalty will be Rs 1,000 for those with income upto Rs 5 Lakhs.
  • Losses incurred (other than house property loss) are not allowed to be carried forward to subsequent years to be set off against the future gains in case where return has not been filed within the due date. (Read : ‘How to set-off Capital Losses on Mutual Funds, Stocks, Property, Gold, Bonds & Debentures?‘)
  • If there are any taxes which are unpaid, penal interest @ 1% per month or part thereof will be charged till the date of payment of taxes (as per u/s 234A).
  • Penal interest may also be applicable under section 234 B and 234 C w.r.t default in payment of Advance Tax (if any).
  • In case, you pay taxes but could not file your ITR then penal interest will not be levied. However other drawbacks such as non-carry forward of losses will be applicable.

AY 2020-21 Income Tax Deadlines you must know about!


Continue reading :

(Post published on : 14-February-2018)

  • Anjali says:

    Hi Dear Reddy,
    i am a salaried person from fy 2011-12 till now.
    I have filed my IT Return from fy 2012-13 to till now fy 2020-21(expect fy 2011-12).
    i got job in fy 2011-12 and that was my first year,was unaware at that time also,so could not file that year itr.after passing 3 years my office mate suggest me not to file itr then, due to unnecessary harassments from IT dept.But Now i want to file that year ITR due to 2 reasons.
    1st- our PM promise that No one will harass us and we don’t have to round up physically infront of tax officers.
    2nd-there is also a need for me to show my first year itr till now at from another new employer.furthermore there was/is not any tax demand and company deducted TDS from my salary and paid to Govt also in that year.Please suggest me what to do and how to do this.please have a look below for details-
    Amount(Salary Paid)-3,28,152 rs
    TDS deducted by Company- 14,142 rs
    I am eagerly waiting for your kind suggestion.Thanks a lot.

    • Sreekanth Reddy says:

      Dear Anjali,
      Filing ITR for FY 2011-12 may not be possible now.
      As of today you can file your ITR for two financial years only and not beyond.

      However, as per Circular 9/2015 [F.NO.312/22/2015-OT], Dated 9-6-2015, you are allowed file ITRs for past six years after following the procedure laid down in that circular provided you are entitled to claim any income tax refund or are entitled to carry forward any loss. So in case you are entitled to claim refund or have any loss to carry forward, you can avail this opportunity file old ITRs also.

      You may also check with a CA in this regard..

      • Anjali says:

        Hi Dear Reddy,
        Thanks A lot for your valuable suggestion and you are kind enough to provide your time to my query,you are quick enough to provide answer with so much speed and in a very short hours,i heartly appreciate that.
        As a new user,i am waiting and looking forward to read all yours upcoming posts with much delights.

        • Sreekanth Reddy says:

          Dear Anajali,
          Keep visiting .
          You may also follow our social media links, to receive latest post notifications. Thank you!

  • Raja K says:

    Hi Sree,

    Yesterday i have submitted ITR compliance for FY2016-17. Please guide me on next steps to be followed.

    Raja K

    • Sreekanth Reddy says:

      Dear Raja,
      Kindly just track the Compliance status online (on e-Filing portal).

      * You can view the status of your response by clicking on ‘compliance tab’ and then on ‘view my submission’.
      * Click on the ‘compliance Ack Number’ link to know the status of your response. You can click on ‘response pdf’ to download your response as a PDF file. The response submitted online by you (taxpayer) will be verified by the ITD (Income Tax Department) and if found satisfactory, the case will be closed.

  • RAVI RAWAT says:

    I have filed mine itr-1 for 2016-17, instead of itr-4. can i file mine itr now. i have an business income which needs to be incorporated in returns. please advice.

    • Sreekanth Reddy says:

      Dear Ravi,
      Assuming AY as 2016-17, you can not rectify your ITR.

      Earlier, tax laws allowed taxpayers to file revised return till one year after the expiry of the assessment year. This meant that taxpayers had two years from the end of the relevant financial year (the FY for which the return was filed) to correct the mistake and file a revised return. But the time limit to file a revised ITR was reduced last year.

      “Starting from last year, the time limit to revise the ITR has been reduced. According to current income tax laws, you now only have time t ..

  • Arjun says:

    Hi, I am a salaried professional. I have missed filing the ITR for AY 2015-2016. There is TDS deducted. There are no tax dues or refunds. How can I proceed? Are there any consequences?

  • Vinod says:

    I received the salary arrear of 2014-15 ,2015-16 in this year.But the tax return was not filed in those years.Can I claim 10E now.If 10E claimed is there any consequences.? Pls reply

    • Dear Vinod,
      The Income Tax Department has made it mandatory to file Form 10E if you want to claim relief under Section 89(1). As per Section 89(1), tax relief is provided by recalculating tax for both the years; the year in which arrears are received and the year to which the arrears pertain.

      Suggest you to kindly consult a Chartered Accountant in this regard.

  • GOPU says:

    Hi Sreekanth,
    My wife is working as a government school teacher. So far we have not filed the income tax return (for the past seven years) and also there is no practice of filing the returns by the schools staffs also. But the tax is deducted properly by the government treasury.This year the gross has crossed 5 lakh per annum and she gained a short term capital gain of Rs.2400 by selling debt mutual fund.So, in this situation should i file ITR 2 through online, if yes , from this year onwards can i file the ITR 2. regarding this suggest me ideas.Thank you.

  • Vishnu says:


    While filing income tax returns for AY 2016-17 . i have made a mistake, the situation is like below

    From April 2015 to Jan 2016, i have worked for company A and for the next 2 months i.e till FY end i have worked for company B.

    While i have received Form 16 from company A and filed return according to that only. This ITR was e-verified also.

    I have not included the income from Company B while preparing ITR.

    When i checked,even though adding up the income from Company B my gross income would be less than 250000. So no tax need to paid either way.

    TDS was deducted by Company A.This TDS dedcuted is less than 1000. But unfortunately i forgot to mention this in ITR. So no refund was issued.

    I would like to know whether i can submit a revised return now , (by including TDS details and CompanyA+Company B income) .

    Can i efile a revised return even after my previous return was e-verified?

    Is there any penalty for delayed filing of revised ITR or incorrect filing of original ITR. ?

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