How to file Income Tax Returns (ITR) of previous years in India?

How to file Income Tax Returns (ITR) of previous years in IndiaHow to file Income Tax Returns (ITR) of previous years in India?

Salaried people, business men, partnership firms and companies need to file income tax returns on the income / profits they earn. We need to file income tax returns every year by 31st July pertaining to previous financial year. However, some time we miss to file income tax returns in a year. What should one do if they miss to file ITR? What are the penalties, income tax department impose if you miss to file income tax returns? How to file income tax returns for previous years in India in such cases?

Also Read: 14 Best Invesment Plans to save income tax in India

Overview about Income Tax in India

In India, any income earned by any individual, partnership firm or company under the various heads of Income Tax Act, 1961 such as income from salary income from house property, income from business and profession, income from capital gains and income from other sources has to be declared to the Income Tax Department for tax purposes. Various forms are issued by the income tax department to file your income tax returns online.

Form 1 – it is used by individuals having salary income and income from other sources.

Form 2 and 2A – It is used to show the income from salary, other sources and house property.

Form 3 – it is used by individuals having income from partnership firm.

Form 4 and 4S – For individuals having income from business and profession.

Form 5 – for partnership firms.

Form 6 – for companies.

Is there any Time Limit to File Income Tax Return in India?

The due date to file income tax return for the financial year 2016-2017 i.e. for A.Y 2017-18 for individuals and non auditable business is 31st July 2017 and for auditable business and companies, it is 30th September 2017.

Can Income Tax Return Be Filled For Previous Years?

Yes, you can file your Income Tax Return for the past 2 financial years in the current year. But delay in filling return has some drawbacks and can be done with terms and conditions. Interest under Sec. 234A, 234B and 234C can be applicable.

IT Returns beyond 2 years cannot be filled unless and until asked by Income Tax Department.

How to File Income Tax Return of Previous Financial Year?

If you have not submitted or missed your Income Tax return for the last year, you can now submit your return online by e-filling in some simple steps. You can fill both last year and current year IT return together.

Procedure to file Income Tax Return (ITR) for previous years

If you are filling your return yourself, you can file your return online by e-filing. The following are the steps for e-filing.

Login to

Register yourself with your Permanent Account Number (PAN) this will be your user id.

Outlook your form 26AS or Tax Credit Statement. Your form 26AS and TDS in form 16 should tally.

Select Income Tax return Forms in ‘Download’ menu and choose the financial year.

Download the ITR form applicable to you.

You can complete the portal yourself by Quick e-fill ITR link.

Click the Downloaded return Preparation software and fill in the form with details using Form 16.

Select ‘Calculate Tax’ and check the tax payable to you in your account. Pay tax and complete the challan details.

Click on ‘Validate’ and check all the information filled.

Make a XML file and save.

Upload the saved XML file in the ‘Upload’ panel.

You will be asked to ‘Digital sign the form’. Select ‘Yes’ if you have your digital signature and ‘No’ if not.

Once the process is completed, download the ITR verification (ITR-V).

Take out a print of the ITR-V form, sign with blue ink and send to Income Tax Department address within 120 days. 

What are the Penalties for Previous Years Filling?

If the ITR is not filled before the deadline, penalty and interest is charged for late filling. The income tax officer may charge you a penalty of Rs 5000 under Sec. 271F in case of late filling. This penalty is implied if you receive any notice from the IT Department for late filling.

In some rare cases if the taxpayer fails to fill the return than he has to pay a penalty under Sec 276CC.

Imprisonment for 3 months to 2 years if the tax amount is less than 25 lakhs.

Imprisonment for 6 months to 7 years if the tax amount is more than 25 lakhs.

In most cases an interest of 1% is levied on tax payers for late filling IT Return.

Also Read: How your parents can help you to save income tax?

Can we revise ITR of Previous Years?

If the income tax returns are not filed on time, i.e. on or before the due date as prescribed by the Income Tax department, it cannot be revised.

Note: Only those Returns can be revised which are filled within in due date.

The ITR filled within the deadline can be revised within the span of one year from the date of filing under Sec. 139(4).

Conclusion: The income tax return for the financial year ending 31st March 2015 can be filed till 31st March 2017. But, after this date, it cannot be filed anyhow, unless the income tax department asks. So, it is always advisable to file your income tax returns on or before the due dates to avoid all kinds of inconvenience and penalty. To add, if the return is filed on time, it can be revised.

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How to file Income Tax Returns of Previous years in India

Suresh KP


  1. I have filed ITR form for assessment year 2015-16
    But it is not accepted due to due date over what will I do

  2. Hi Suresh,

    Thanks a lot for your helping works. Could you please help me out to file the ITR for AY 2017-2018. I have slaraied income, bank interest income, Short term capital gain income from share market(both intraday and delivery). I would like to know which form i should select for return.I can see there are two forms in ITR onlne site. 1. ITR1 and 2. ITR4. Someone suggested me to select ITR4 but I cannot see any fields to enter Short term capital gain income from intraday and delivery based trading. Could you please help me in this regards, like me many would be helpful.

    Once again thanks for your good work.

    God bless you and





  3. Dear Sir,

    This is first time, I am going through your website.  I have some qureires regarding filing of ITR in India:

    1.  Since Nov. 2013, I am staying in Oman and not filed up my ITR 2013 onwards.  Upto 2012 I have filed my ITR.  In GULF, you know we get tax-free salary.   Even, I don't have any NRI / NRE account.  I am using my saving bank account only.

    2.  My family is staying back in India.  Every month I am remitting fund to them in my saving a/c and some time my wife's a/c as well.  My wife is house wife.  She is also don't file any ITR.

    3.  I have some FDs in my name and my wife's name as well.  We are taking tax exemption under 15G.    Is it requried for us to file ITR.



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