The delay in the deadline for e-filing of income tax returns (ITR) by a week brought respite to taxpayers who were struggling to get the job done by on August 31, which was the last day, due to technical anomalies. This forced the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) to extend the deadline to September 7, which is today. In case you have been tardy, do rush and file your income tax returns. Here is a 10-point check list tax payers must be aware of, and adhere to, while filing returns:
1. If you miss the deadline today, you will not be allowed to file a reviewed return. If returns are filed within the due date, any loss is allowed to be carried forward for eight years against incomes of the future years, subject to certain conditions. This helps to condense tax liability for the future years. If returns are not filed within the due date, then 1% penal interest will be charged.
2. Delayed filing means delayed refunds. According to the Income Tax Act, one can’t carry forward the loss if income tax returns have not been filed on time.
3.If the taxpayer files return after the due date, he may have to pay interest and penalty. If no tax liability is due but the income tax returns has not been filed within the stipulated time, no penalty will be levied provided the return is filed within the same assessment year.
4.Taxpayers also lose out on interest on refund if the return is not filed on time. The tax department pays interest for the period beginning the date of filing up to the date of issue of refund.
5.Taxpayer can’t revise a later return and will have to pay interest if tax liability is due. The late returns are filed under Section 139(4) of the I-T Act.
6. Assessees can file the return within one year from the end of assessment year. This means that for FY 2014-15, the return can be filed till March 31, 2017.
7. If someone filed the return, but overlooked revealing some information, he or she may be able to revise only where they filed the return within due date.
8.In the event of non-filing of the return, taxpayers may also suffer when seeking a loan or applying for visas in certain countries.
9.Those still scrambling to meet the deadline for various reasons including lack of all information, will get one year from the end of assessment year to file their returns, though along with interest or penalty, as the case may be.
10.By not filing return on time they may lose out on various benefits including carrying forward of losses incurred during the financial year for which the assessment is being made. However, If any error is found in the return filed for assessment year 2014-15, these can be revised only up to March 31, 2016. It is advisable to take the help of a chartered accountant or tax return preparer to file late returns.