The income tax return (ITR) filing deadline for the fiscal year 2021-22 or assessment year 2022-23 is July 31, 2022. It’s fine if you’ve already filed the return or if you manage to file it before the deadline. But what if you don’t file your ITR by the July 31 deadline?

If you miss the July 31 deadline, you still have until December 31, 2022 to file your return. However, you will be charged a late fee. It will also have some financial ramifications.

The late fee is Rs 1,000 for taxpayers with an annual income of up to Rs 5 lakh. The late fee is Rs 5,000 if your annual income exceeds Rs 5 lakh.

However, if your gross total income does not exceed the basic exemption limit, you will not be penalised for filing late.

The basic exemption limit is determined by the income tax scheme you select. Under the previous income tax regime, the basic tax exemption limit for taxpayers under the age of 60 was Rs 2.5 lakh. The basic exemption limit for those between the ages of 60 and 80 is Rs 3 lakh. The exemption limit for those above the age of 80 is Rs 5 lakh.

The basic tax exemption level under the new concessional income tax regime is Rs 2.5 lakh, regardless of the taxpayer’s age.

The term “gross total income” refers to total income before deductions under sections 80C to 80U of the Income Tax Act.

Apart from the late fee costs, missing deadlines have a number of other consequences. If you miss the deadline, you will have to pay interest on your tax debt.

If you file your return before the due date, you can simply deposit the unpaid tax. If you miss the deadline, you will be obliged to submit the unpaid tax, as well as the interest, retroactively from July 31. If the outstanding balance is not paid before the 5th of the month, the interest for the entire month must be paid at a rate of 1% per month.

A taxpayer’s burden can be reduced by offsetting losses from company activities or the sale of property against other income. However, losses can be carried forward only if the ITR is filed before the deadline.

If you miss the July 31st deadline, the deadline for filing a belated income tax return for the fiscal year 2021-22 is December 31, 2022.

If you miss even the December 31, 2022 deadline for refunds and losses, you must file an appeal for condonation with the commissioner of income tax of your ward for refunds and losses carried forward.