The last date to file income tax return (ITR) every year is July 31, but since it usually gets extended every year, taxpayers tend to take this deadline not too seriously.
This year, however, was distinct as the finance ministry announced a couple of weeks earlier that it did not intend to extend the deadline this time.
Revenue Secretary Sanjay Malhotra announced that the Union finance ministry was not planning to extend the deadline for filing of income tax returns and there was no proposal under consideration.
This ultimatum, it seems, has worked and the department has made a new record of income tax return filing this year around.
More than six crore ITRs have been filed so far (July 30), out of which, about 26.76 lakh ITRs were filed on Sunday till 6.30 pm, the department on Sunday tweeted.
“We have witnessed more than 1.30 crore successful logins on the e-filing portal till 6.30 pm, today,” the department said.
While extending gratitude to taxpayers and tax professionals, the department urged all those who haven't filed ITR for AY 2023-24, to file at the earliest to avoid last minute rush.
If you have yet not filed the income tax return, you must make note of the following points:
1. Helpdesk: To assist taxpayers for income tax return filing, the helpdesk of the department is functioning round-the-clock, and giving support through calls, live chats and social media.
2. Zero tax: Do not be fooled by the ones who restrain you from filing a return because you have zero tax liability. You should, nevertheless, file your return because it works like a proof of income, helps you during visa application process, enables you to claim your TDS, so on and so forth.
After all, there are numerous advantages of filing the return even when you do not have an income tax liability.
In fact, 70 percent of income tax return filers have zero tax liability.
3. Paranoia of committing mistakes: You should ensure to file an error-free income tax return preferably under an expert’s guidance. But in case you end up under-reporting the income inadvertently, you can always file a revised return.
Even those tax payers who filed their return a few days ago can file a revised return if they came across a new piece of information.
4. Say no to under-reporting: While filing income tax return, make sure to not under-report your income, at least not deliberately, since the income must reconcile with your TDS deductions as reflected in the Annual Information System. This anomaly barely misses the tax department’s system.
Also, if you invested in cryptocurrencies, make sure to report that income under Schedule VDA in the ITR for FY 2022-2023.
5. Belated return: And lastly, in case you still want to miss the deadline, get ready to pay penalty charges and interest on outstanding tax liability.
A penalty of up to ₹5,000 may be levied for late filing. Besides, a late filing fee of 0.5 percent of the tax due will be imposed for each month that the return remains outstanding, with a maximum of five percent.