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Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Income Tax Return (ITR) Submission Deadlines, Delays and Implications

It is time for Income tax Returns submission (ITR submission), and there are many queries that we come across every year, not only because the laws related to tax filing keep changing, but also because we keep landing ourselves into a new trouble every time e.g. what to do if you did not file ITRs in the previous years. 

So, i thought it might be helpful to put forward a few important scenarios and the answers to such queries.

What is the Last Date for filing an Income Tax Return?
The last date to file your Income Tax Return is 31st July 2013 for the financial year ending on 31st March 2013 (Assessment Year 2013-14). 

What is the difference between Assessment Year and Financial Year?

Is it mandatory for everyone to file an Income Tax Return if I one has a PAN Card?
No. You need to file an Income Tax Return only if your total taxable income exceeds the basic exemption limit before taking into account deductions.

For the financial year 2012-2013, the basic exemption limit is Rs.2,00,000. For women, the limit is Rs.2,00,000, while for Senior Citizens it is Rs.2,50,000.
You do not need to file an income tax return if your total taxable income does not exceed the basic exemption limit before taking into account deductions, even though you may have a PAN. 

Remember that this value is before taking into account deductions. So, lets say that you are a 30 year old citizen of India and have an annual income of Rs. 2.5 Lacs out of which you save Rs. 1 Lacs under Section 80C. So, you might not feel the need to file ITR, but the necessity to file ITR is based on your income prior to any deductions i.e. Rs. 2.5 Lacs. So, you will be required to file ITR, though there will be no tax implications for you.

What are the consequences if I do not pay income-tax?
In case, you fail to pay due amount of income tax , you will be charged an interest @ 1% per month from 1st April following the financial year, until you pay your tax.

So, if you had a due tax to the government of Rs. 50,000/- for F.Y. ending in Mar 2013, but you did not pay the same by 31st July 2013, then you would be charged an interest @ 1% on this amount from 1st April 2013 till you actually pay the tax.

What happens if your IT return is filed late?
If you miss the deadline for submitting your ITR by 31st July 2013, you can file a belated tax return by 31 March 2014. 
But, if there is balance tax payable, you will have to pay interest on the balance at the rate of 1 per cent per month. This can go up to 2 per cent if you have not paid the required advance tax. If you are entitled to a refund, you don’t have to pay any interest if you file late.

What is the penalty for delaying or not filing a tax return?
  • If a person who is required to furnish a return of his income, as required under sub-section (1) of section 139, fails to furnish such return before the end of the relevant assessment year (by 31 March 2014 in this case), the Assessing Officer may direct that such person shall pay, by way of penalty, a sum of five thousand rupees (Rs. 5,000/-).  
  • The powers given to the Assessing Officer u/s 271F are discretionary, and hence they may or may not be levied. Moreover, penalty u/s 271F is not levied practically by Assessing Officer until and unless there is any tax liability. 
  • You can also be prosecuted if the tax payable (net of advance tax and TDS) is above Rs 3,000. 
  • You can also be imprisoned for three months to three years, besides being fined.
Where to file Income Tax Returns online?
The government website for e-filing income tax returns (https://incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in/) is the simplest and most user friendly i have ever seen. You don't need to spend money on any private submission portals.

Which Form should i use for ITR submission?
Read on : Which Income Tax Return(ITR) form should I file for AY 2013-14 (FY 2012-13)?


Cheers

Manoj Arora
Lead a Financially Free Life !!

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