Taxpayers who have not filed their Income Tax Returns (ITR) for fiscal 2019-20 can do it online till December 31, 2020, as per Income Tax (I-T) department’s recent order. The online filing format of ITR is known as e-filing.
Generally, taxpayers are required to file ITR by July 31 of any year (unless extended by the government). For the FY2019-20 (AY2020-21), the deadline has been extended to December 2020 in view of the constraints due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Income Tax Return (ITR) filing is an annual activity seen as a duty of every responsible citizen of the nation. A person can claim the refund of the excess tax paid/deducted during a financial year by filing an ITR for that year.
The I-T department has established an independent portal for e-filing of income tax returns. Under the current income tax laws, several forms are available for different types of assessees to file their income tax return for financial year 2018-19 namely ITR 1, ITR 2, ITR 3, ITR 4, ITR 5, ITR 6 and ITR 7.
ITR-1 is applicable only for resident individuals having income up to Rs 50 lakh and only for those having income from salary, one house property and other sources. Similarly, there is ITR-3 which is applicable for income from business or profession and ITR-4 for the presumptive method of taxation such as for freelancers.
While the deadline to file ITR for FY19-20 (assessment year 20-21) may end on December 30, it is better to file it as soon as possible. Waiting for the last minute can lead to errors in filing due to challenges thrown by the e-filing, experts suggest. ITR filing requires diligent care and attention to ensure that the details are accurate.
According to Sandeep Sehgal, director- taxes and regulatory, AKM Global, a consulting firm, taxpayers whose tax liability is greater than Rs 1 lakh should try to file earlier as they would be subject to increased interest payment on the month on month basis. Failing to file ITR on time attracts interest at the rate of 1 percent for every month or a part thereof.
Taxpayers who are expecting refunds should also file early so that their refunds could also be processed earlier. ITR filings that are done earlier get verified earlier, thus resulting in faster tax refunds.
Filing ITR after the due date is also allowed up to a certain period. However, taxpayers are required to pay a penalty in this case.
First Published: IST