How to file Income Tax Returns (ITR) for previous years?

How to file ITR for previous years after due dateHow to file Income Tax Returns (ITR) for previous years?

Every individual is responsible enough to file his or her income tax return on time. But for some reasons, if they fail to do so, this article provides the alternatives and consequences of the same.  Amongst the list of reasons, lack of information, natural calamities, ignorance, not present in India may be some to say. But don’t worry, there are still certain ways. How to file income tax returns (ITR) for previous years after due date? Till what date, you can file Tax returns pertaining to previous years? What are the frequently asked questions about filing income tax returns for previous financial years?


Also Read: How to correct errors in income tax returns in India?

What is delayed or belated Income Tax Returns(ITR)?

The Central Board of Direct Taxes has made it mandatory for the individuals to file their income tax return till 31st July of the assessment year. This date is for those individuals who have salary income or self-employment,  not required to get their tax audit done. But, in case,  you have not been able to file your return before the prescribed due date, you can still file a belated / delayed return of income tax after the due date under Section 139(4). Such an income tax return, filed after the due date is called Belated Return.

Belated return can be filed at any time before the expiry of 1 year from the end of the relevant assessment year. For example, for the income tax return for the financial year 2015-16, the assessment year would be 2016-17,  the due date for filing of returns for the individuals will be 31st July 2016. But due to some reasons, if an individual does not file his return of income on time, then there is nothing to worry, he can file his return for financial year 2015-16 up to 31st March 2018.

What is the procedure to file tax returns for previous years?

The procedure remains same. You can refer this article about how to file tax returns online.

Does ITR Form change to file tax returns pertaining to previous year?

There are no specific ITRs to be used for filing income tax returns of previous year. You need to use the same ITR forms which are applicable and to be used for regular IT filing. You can refer this article about which IT Form to be used for income tax return filing for FY2015-2016.

FAQ’s about how to file Income Tax Returns (ITR) for previous years

  • The Income tax return can be filed even after the due date has been passed.
  • If the assessee has paid the full tax in advance, no interest shall be chargeable. If any tax is payable after the due date has  gone,  then interest  at the rate of 1 %  for every month till the month in which the return is filed will be charged on the due tax payable U/S 234A of the Income Tax Act.
  • If an individual has refund and has not filed the return on time, then he will get the full refund amount along with the interest which will be given at the rate of 5.5% per annum.
  • If an individual is having loss from business and profession or having long term or short term loss or having carried forward losses from the previous year,  then one should strictly keep in mind that they have to   file their income tax return on time i.e. on or before the filing of the due date.  If the individual does not file the income tax return on time, then he /she will not get the benefit of carried forward losses or of losses occurred during the same year. One should also remember that returns filed U/S 139(4) i.e. filed after due date cannot be revised. The return of loss is filed U/S 139(3) of the income tax act and has to be filed on or before the due date to avail the losses of carry forward losses to adjust from future income.
  • One should keep in mind that loss from house property is not covered under this head that return can be filed even after the due date.
  • An individual can file his or her income tax return even after the due date.  But to avoid any penalties, he or she has to file the return before the end of the relevant assessment year i.e. for F.Y. 2015-16 the return should be filed till 31st March 2017. If an individual file his or her return after 31st March 2017 for F.Y 2015-16, then the assessing officer has been empowered by the CBDT to impose a penalty of Rs. 5000/-.
  • If an individual is having income from business and profession and having their accounts audited, then they have to file their return on or before the due date and due date for them is 30 September. For those defaulters who file their return after the due date, there is a huge penalty provision,  i.e. up to 150,000 or 0.5 % of total gross turnover whichever is less.
  • After filing the return online, an individual has to send his or her return to CPC (Centralized processing Centre)  Bengaluru within 120 days after the filing of the return.  It needs to be sent through post or speed-post. Courier not allowed. The following is the address of CPC Bengaluru, Post Bag No. 1, Electronic City Post Office, Bengaluru, Karnataka 560100.

This article is a perfect guide to the people who have missed to file their returns of income tax on time. So, don’t worry and do it now. Its better late than never.

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How to file Income Tax Returns (ITR) for previous years


  • Ayush Garg

    Dear Sir,

    I was checking my request list on my profile on incometax website. There i found 2 requests for AY 2013-14 and 2014-15 for Demand. How can i check why they raised the demand and from where i can check whether demand is correct or not. Thanks in advance.


    HI, I have submitted manual filing as well as efiling. so my efiling status shows “TRANSFERRED TO AO CHENNAI”. what to be done?

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