You must e-file your income tax return before the due date to avoid the heavy penalty. The last date for efiling the return of AY 2019-20 is 31st July 2019. However, a class of income taxpayers have a different deadline. In this post, I have told you all the important information related to the due date of e-filing.
1. Return e-Filing Last Date for Common Taxpayers
The common taxpayers such as salaried class, and professional has to file their income tax return before 31st July of the assessment year. The e-filing of a assessment year starts just after the new ITR forms are released. The ITR forms are released for each financial year. The ITR forms are released in the April month.
In the past, the government has given relaxation in due date. This relaxation was given if there were any disturbances. But in the normal cases, the government used to stick on the 31st July. You must file your return before this due date to avoid penalty and limitations.
2. E-filing Due Date For Businesses
The last date of e-filing for the business class is different. The government gives two months more to this class of taxpayer. They can e-file tax return until 30 September. This relaxation is given to only those taxpayers who have to go through the audit.
The businesses and professionals who earn more than a limit are required to go through the Audit process. In this process, the CA audits the account of the person or business. Hence, the government gives more time to file the return.
3. Due Date for Filing Income Tax Return
The due dates for filing income tax returns are as follows:
Salaried taxpayers who are in receipt of salaried income, interest income and income from house property must file income tax return before 31st July.
Taxpayers enrolled under the presumptive taxation scheme not requiring tax audit must file income tax return before 31st July.
Taxpayers having business or professional income who do not require a tax audit must file income tax return before 31st July.
Taxpayers having business or professional interest income who require tax audit must file income tax return on or before 30th September.
Companies and corporate taxpayers required to obtain tax audit must file income tax return on or before 30th September.
4. Who should file income tax return?
The following persons are required to file the income tax return in India.
5. Avoid the Last Week of July
It is true that you can efile income tax return up to 31st July, but you must avoid the last week of the July. As there is a heavy rush in that week. Most of the income taxpayers wake up at that time. Due to this heavy rush, sometimes, income tax servers also stop working.
To avoid any disruption, it is better to efile as soon as possible. You should efile income tax return yourself just after you get the form 16. For further tallying, you can also check the form 26AS.
6. Financial year Vs Assessment Year
The above mentioned last date of efiling is for the FY 2018-19. It means, in this income tax return, you have to tell about the income and tax payment details during the 1st April 2018- 31st March 2019. Since the income tax return of this financial year is filed after 31st March 2019, the Assessment year for this return would be 2019-20.
Hence the last date of Income tax return of FY 2018-19 or AY 2019-20 is 31st July 2019. For the taxpayer who goes through the audit process, the last date is 30 September 2019.
7. e-Filing After the Due Date
You can file the belated return after the due date. The income tax act section 139 (4) permits the belated return. But you would have to pay the penalty. There are some more negatives of such return. I have given the detail about it.
File Belated Return Until 31st March
You can file the belated return till the 31st March of the Assessment year. So, you can file the income tax return of FY 2018-19 till 31st March 2020. Thus, you get a window of one year for filing income tax return. Earlier, you had the window of 2 years. But since FY 2017-18, you have only one year to file income tax return. After this duration, you would not be able to file income tax return.
8. Penalty and Other Disadvantages of Missing Deadline
The government has made strict rules for income tax return filing since the financial year 2017-18. According to the new rules, you may face following disadvantages in case you miss the deadline.
Penalty Of Up to ₹10,000
There would be a penalty of ₹5,000 if you miss the deadline of 31st July.
The penalty would be enhanced to ₹10,000 if you don’t file income tax return until 31st December.
You would not be able to file the return after the 31st March of the next year.
However, the government has given some relief to the small taxpayers. The penalty would be only ₹1,000 if your taxable income is not more than ₹5 lakhs. It is also applicable after 31st December.
Loss of interest on refunds
If you have paid excess advance tax or your employer has deducted excess TDS, you can claim the tax refund. The government also gives you interest on this refund. Thus you get the refund along with the interest. The interest is calculated from the 1st April of the assessment year. The rate of interest is 0.5% per month.
But, if you do not file income tax return on time the interest on refund would be much lower. In this case, the government would calculate interest from the date you filed the return. So you would miss the interest of at least 4 months.
No carry forward of Capital losses
You may face losses from your investment. But, you can adjust this capital loss with the capital gain in future. Thus, a current capital loss can be used to reduce tax liability in the future. This provision is very beneficial in case of investment in shares.
But this carry forward of capital loss would not be available if you don’t file the tax return on time. Let me tell you that you have to mention the capital loss in the return to avail benefit in future.
The burden of Penal Interest
You can file income tax return only after the payment of the full tax. Thus, a tax return also reminds you of any remaining tax. But if you don’t file the tax return on time, you would not be able to know about the unpaid tax.
The income tax department charges heavy penal interest on such tax liability. Hence, if you file the return on time, you can minimize the interest burden.
9. If you Miss the Return Wilfully
If you have not filed income tax return wilfully, there can be a legal action under section 276CC of the income tax act. According to this section, if you have evaded the tax of ₹25 thousand or more, you would face a jail term of 6 months to 7 years. This rule is also applicable in case of willfully not filing income tax return to evade the tax. However, in some cases, the jail term is for 3 months to 3 years.
Note:- Taxpayers whose income is limited to Rs 5 lakhs would be imposed with a penalty which exceeds Rs.1000.