I have been in China since April 1999. Till that time I was a resident Indian earning in India, but I have been unable to file my Income tax return for the last financial year in India. Being a salaried employee, the tax was deducted at source. Do I need to file returns?—Vinay Agarwal
I understand that you have not been able to file return for income in financial year 1998-1999, i.e. the year ended 31 March 1999. The last date till which you could have filed a belated return for that year was 31 March 2001.
Under the income tax law, any individual having income chargeable to tax is required to file the return of income within the specified due date. Any return filed after the last date allowed under the income tax law will be considered to be invalid unless there is a specific permission from the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CDBT).
As a result, even if you file a return of income now, the same may be considered to be an invalid return.
However, the CBDT is empowered to authorize any income tax authority to admit an application or claim for any exemption, deduction, refund or any other relief even after the expiry of the due dates specified under the Income-tax Act.
In case you have any refund due or a claim to be made for that year, you could approach the CBDT seeking a condonation for the delay in filing the return and request for allowance of the claim or refund.