NEW DELHI : In its bid to increase tax compliance, the income tax department has now launched a new campaign to convince all those who did not file their income tax return (ITR) for the last financial year to do it now. The tax department keeps a track of all those who skip filing their ITR in a subsequent year.

In an e-mail message to all those who didn't file their ITR for FY 2017-18 or AY 2019-20, the tax department's message reads, "We missed you. You've been a regular filer. However, we couldn't help but notice that you were missing this year. So here's a little reminder".

It says that you can still file your income tax return by March 31, 2020 but late fee may be applicable as per rules.

The email message ends with "Waiting for you to file" but stops short of threatening taxpayers with any penal action for not filing ITR.

The last date to file ITR for the previous financial year is July 31. The income tax department extended this deadline to August 31 this year due to a delay in issue of Form 16.

All those whose income is in the taxable bracket are required to file ITR even if no tax is due or payable. There are other categories of individuals too who are mandatorily required to file ITR even if their income is below the taxable limit.

What happens if you file ITR now?

Even though it is not mandatory for you to do so, it is in your interest to file ITR because it validates your credit worthiness before financial institutions and makes it possible for you to access many financial benefits such as bank credits, etc.​​

Those who missed the August 31 deadline can now file a belated income tax return by the end of this financial year i.e. March 31, 2020.

If you file ITR by December 31, you will have to pay a fine of 5,000 under section 234F. If you miss that deadline, then you will have to pay a penalty of 10,000.

However, according to income tax rules, late filing fee shall not exceed 1,000 if your total income does not exceed 5 lakh. If you have some tax due, apart from the late filing fee, you will also have to pay a monthly interest of 1% on your tax due till the month of payment.

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