All of you must be aware that for filing income tax returns for the Financial Year 2017-18, CBDT has extended the due date by one month, i.e. from 31st July 2018 to 31st August 2018. However, are you also aware about the changes made in the ITR forms?
In fact, with the extension of due date for filing of tax return, some simultaneous changes have also been made in the online as well offline ITR forms. So, if you haven’t filed your tax return yet, then it becomes very important for you to know about these changes for a hassle-free filing experience. Here they go:
1. Invalidation of Offline ITR utilities & Removal of Saved Online ITR-1 & 4 Computations
If you are willing to file tax return using offline excel/ java utility & have also saved it, but haven’t filed it before 31st July, then such excel/ java file will no longer remain valid. As some changes have been made in the ITR forms, like Sec 234F, Sec 234A etc, you’ll have to download the new forms from the income tax e-filing website.
Similarly, “in case of online ITR-1 Form Sahaj, if you have saved a draft & did not file it before 31st July, 2018, then such draft will no longer be available for you. You will have to fill a new ITR-1 & 4 Form from the beginning,” says CA Abhishek Soni, Founder, tax2win.in.
2. Changes in Verification Box
While filing tax return online/ offline, a verification is required to be made by the taxpayer under the head “Taxes Paid & Verification.” After the extension of due date for ITR filing, a new option of selecting the capacity of filing return has been provided. One can either file the return in the capacity of “Self” or in the capacity of “Representative”. This option wasn’t provided before. Further, in case of ITR -4, you will find 4 options, i.e. “Self or Representative or Karta or Partner.”
3. Due Date Extension for Late Filing Fee
The new Section 234F has been the most-discussed topic of this ITR filing season. And why not? This is for the first time that a late filing fee up to a maximum of Rs 10,000 will now be levied even for a single day delay in filing tax return. “This fee was supposed to be imposed if the taxpayer failed to file ITR till the due date, i.e. 31st July, 2018, which has now been extended to 31st August, 2018 for FY2017-18. As ITR filing due date has been extended, so has been the due date of Sec 234F penalty. Late filing fee will now be applicable when the tax return is filed after 31st August, 2018,” informs Soni.
4. Extension of Due Date for calculation of interest under Sec 234A
As per Section 234A of the Income Tax Act, interest is levied for delay in filing tax return. If you do not file tax return on or before the due date (i.e. 31st July, 2018, now extended till 31st August, 2018) and there is any tax liability, then interest @1% per month will be levied on the tax payable. The period of interest will be taken from the due date till the date when the return is actually filed. For this purpose, interest will be levied from 31st August, 2018.
“The extension of income tax return filing due date, thus, is a welcome move as it has provided much-needed relief to the taxpayers who have not filed their return yet. However, if you haven’t filed your ITR yet, it is time to act now. Plan your taxes, claim tax benefits and file tax return on time keeping in view all the changes made in the ITR forms as well as the return filing process. This will also help you avoid any penalty for late filing of return,” says Soni.