1. Income-tax returns: Fresh window of opportunity

Income-tax returns: Fresh window of opportunity

Those who missed filing their income-tax returns by August 31 for assessment year 2015-16 can now do so till September 7.

By: | Updated: September 4, 2015 1:04 PM
income tax return

If returns are filed within the due date, any loss is allowed to be carried forward for eight years for setoff against incomes of the future years, subject to certain conditions. (Thinkstock)

Those who missed filing their income-tax returns by August 31 for assessment year 2015-16 can now do so till September 7. The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBST) has extended the deadline after considering the hardships faced by taxpayers in e-filing returns on the last date because of slowing down of certain services on the portal.

If returns are filed within the due date, any loss is allowed to be carried forward for eight years for setoff against incomes of the future years, subject to certain conditions. This setoff can help reduce tax liability for the future years.

If returns are not filed within the due date, then 1% penal interest will be charged if there is any tax overdue.

Also if you miss the deadline, you will not be allowed to file a revised return if you make any mistake while filing it.

Moreover, delayed filing also means delayed refunds. The government earlier introduced a new form, ITR 2A, and simplified ITR 1, ITR 2 and ITR 4S for the convenience of taxpayers. In fact, there was much controversy when the forms  ITR 1, ITR 2 and ITR 4S were notified in May. The forms entailed a number of additional disclosures by taxpayers, including details of foreign trips and bank accounts.

However, the government withdrew the forms and introduced a new set and the deadline for filing returns was extended from July 31 to August 31.

The requirement to report extensive details of foreign trips made during the financial year including countries visited, number of trips made and expenses incurred from own sources were also done away with. For foreign visits, only passport number will now have to be filled.

For bank account details in the tax returns, only the IFS Code and account number of all current/ savings accounts, which are held at any time during the previous year, will have to be filled up.

Details of dormant accounts not operational since last three years will not have to be furnished by the individuals. To identify undisclosed income stashed abroad, the government had introduced mandatory reporting of foreign assets held outside India for all ordinary resident taxpayers.

The form ITR 1 or Sahaj is for individuals who have income from salaries, one house property and from other sources.

ITR2 is for those individuals or Hindu Undivided Family (HUF) not having income from business or profession.

It covers capital gains and income from more than one house property in addition to the income sources covered by ITR 1. At present, ITR 2 is used by individuals or HUFs having income from more than one house property and capital gains.

The government had introduce a new form ITR 2A, for individuals/ HUFs not having capital gains income, income from business/profession or foreign assets/ income. The form ITR 4S or Sugam is for individuals who have any presumptive income and it includes the exempt income disclosure like ITR 1.

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