There is good news for taxpayers who haven’t filed their Income Tax Return till now. The Ministry of Finance, in a notification issued today, has announced the extension of the due date for filing the Income Tax return to 31st August from 31st July, 2018. A tweet by the Ministry said, “Upon consideration of the matter, the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) extends the ‘Due Date’ for the filing of Income Tax Returns from 31st July 2018 to 31st August 2018 in respect of the said categories of taxpayers.”
The income tax law mandates the filing of return by July 31 for individuals and HUF for the assessment year 2018-19. For a certain category of taxpayers, the deadline to file the return is beyond July 31st. This extension has been done for the category of taxpayers who are required to file their return before July 31st.
Commenting on the same, Naveen Wadhwa, DGM, Taxmann.com, said, “The extension of complete one month would be a big relief for the taxpayers. This extension was really necessary to give a last chance to the small taxpayers to opt the habit of timely filing of income-tax return. This is the first year of applicability of late filing fees and probably that is the reason for extending the due date. The Govt. has given a clear indication that it won’t be strict with the small taxpayers and will give them a last chance to file the return on time.”
The taxpayers who are required to file their return after July 31st are mainly assessees who are required to get their books of account audited, corporate assessees and enterprises with transfer pricing norms.
Until last assessment year (AY) there was no penalty for filing belated income tax returns. However, this penalty is applicable from AY 2018-19. A new section 234F was inserted by the government in the Income Tax Act. As per this section, an individual would have to pay a fee of up to Rs 10,000 for filing income tax return after the due dates specified in section 139(1) of the Act. Taxpayers are liable to pay a fee of Rs 5,000, if their tax return for the financial year 2017-18 is filed after the return filing deadline (i.e., July 31, 2018) but before December 31, 2018. The fee payable is Rs 10,000 if the tax return is filed on or after December 31, 2018. Moreover, if the income is below Rs 5 lakhs then the fee shall not exceed Rs 1000.