Income Tax Return filing date is nearing and you shouldn't wait. Here’s why

Income Tax Return filing date is nearing and you shouldn't wait. Here’s why

The government is not considering extending the last date for filing ITR as it expects most returns to come in by the due date of July 31.

Even when the government extended the deadline for filing income tax returns (ITR) over the last two financial years owing to the Covid-19 pandemic, the government has made it clear that it is not going to do the same this fiscal. On July 24, a top official said that the government is not considering extending the last date for filing ITR as it expects most returns to come in by the due date of July 31.

“People thought the routine now is that dates will be extended. So they were a little slow in filling the returns initially, but now on a daily basis, we are getting between 15 lakhs to 18 lakh returns. This will slightly go up to 25 lakh to 30 lakh returns,” Revenue Secretary Tarun Bajaj told PTI.

As per Bajaj, over 2.3 crore income tax returns were filed by July 20 for fiscal 2021-22 and the numbers are picking up. Last time, (2020-21), about 5.89 crore ITRs were filed by the extended due date of December 31, 2021.

The last date for filing the income tax returns is July 31 and it is not going to be extended this fiscal. As per I-T rules, the deadline for filing ITRs in a fiscal by individual taxpayers who do not need to get their accounts audited is July 31 of the subsequent financial year.

Fine! It is the last week of July, which means only a few days are left for filing our ITRs for the financial year 2021-22. And as per the Income Tax Rules, failing to file the income tax return by the deadline may result in a Rs 10,000 fine and other penalties. Any delay beyond July 31 can attract interest on the tax due, as per Section 234A of the Income Tax Act of 1961.

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The ITR can still be filed by December 31, 2022, but you will have to pay a late fee of Rs 5,000 if your income is above Rs 5 lakh per annum and Rs 1,000 if you earn less than Rs 5 lakh.

An interest of 1 per cent is applicable on the outstanding amount if you don’t pay tax till July 31, 2022. This is irrespective of whether the tax amount was filed wrong or not.

So, retrospectively from July 31, the taxpayer will have to deposit the outstanding tax along with the interest. Also, if the outstanding tax is paid on or after the 5th of any month, the interest for the full month will have to be paid.

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