You must have heard every year that the tax filing return deadline is on 31st July every year. But do you know what it means? Should you be bothered about it? As per the present laws, any person residing in India and earning more than the lowest threshold of 2.5 lacs is liable to pay taxes.
Please note that if you are NRI, then income accruing or deemed to accrue In India are taxable in India, and if the same is more than 2.5 lakh, you are supposed to file ITR.
Filing the ITR is essential even for those who need to get a refund of any taxes paid or deducted at source, or you want to carry forward any losses set off in future years.
As a responsible individual, the government expects you to file your ITR at the end of every financial year.
This ITR is a form where the taxpayer submits crucial information about their income, various applicable exemptions, and whether they are availing of any deductions.
As a great relief, the deadline for filing ITR for the assessment year that is 2021-2022 for the previous financial year ( FY 2020-21) was extended up to 30th September 2021, in the wake of the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdown imposed after that.
So at this point, the first thing I suggest is logging in to your PAN at the Income-tax site and checking all the previous returns to make sure that you have filed all the returns in earlier years.
When was I supposed to file my ITR?
If you have missed filing your return within the due date and payment of taxes, you can do so by filing a belated ITR and paying the taxes to the government. Please note that the belated return can be filed at the latest before the completion of the AY. However, a penalty will be charged for an overdue return of Rs 10,000. Earlier, there was no penalty for belated ITR.
What are the consequences of belated ITR filing?
As per the Income Tax Act of 1961, an individual who is eligible for filing an ITR but fails to do so within the deadline can file it together with the interest and late fees by the extended deadline, according to the authorities, when a person has taxable income, but refrains from filing an ITR is likely to face severe consequences, this is particularly true if the intention was to evade taxes.
They may be levied a penalty under section 270A, where they have to pay 50 percent of the total tax amount that they have avoided furnishing. Moreover, the Income Tax Department of India also has the right to begin prosecution under section 276CC of the Income Tax Act. Another practical consequence is that there is virtually no time limit to issue scrutiny notice for non-filers wherein all the filed returns are under time limitation for further inquiry and investigations.
Moreover, if the tax that has been evaded exceeds 25,00,000 and has not been furnished to the concerned department, then the tenure of imprisonment may surge up to 7 years. Thus, if you want to avoid unwanted penalties and prosecution, it would be prudent to file your IT return at the earliest and correctly.
If you have missed the ITR filing on time, you have to opt for a belated return. This process is similar to ITR filing before the due date.
Can I revise my return if I get to know some mistakes?
Yes, the Original Income tax return filed by you can be revised either by the end of the assessment year or assessment order, whichever is earlier. This must be adopted if you figure out some mistake or any left-out income. Taxpayers cannot file/revise any return once this date is passed; however, if the return was missed out due to an extreme situation, you can lodge a request to your AO seeking permission to file.
Thus, if you have missed filing your ITR within the due date, waste no time in doing it right away. A belated income tax return can save you from unwanted penalties and hassles. In addition, if it has been a tough year for you and you have missed filing your ITR, make sure that such lapses don’t happen in the future.
TO CLARIFY ONE BIG REASON FOR NON FILERS IS THE LACK OF AVAILABILITY OF RELEVANT DATA WITHIN DUE DATE, REMEMBER ONE THING THAT FILING OF RETURN (EVEN SUBSTANTIALLY CORRECT IF NOT ABSOLUTELY CORRECT) WITHIN DUE DATE OR EXTENDED DUE DATES IS A MUCH BETTER SITUATION THAN NOT FILING IT.