Income Tax Return (ITR) is a way to inform the Government of India, that you have paid the taxes on the income earned by you. Also, you can claim a refund in ITR if you have paid any extra taxes. So basically, it is very important that you, as a citizen of India, to file your ITR on or before the prescribed due dates for filing. There are different forms of ITR for different classes of persons. Each person, whether an individual, firm or a company, etc. needs to file ITR in the form which is applicable to it. 

The due dates of filing ITR are broadly categorized under two types: 

(i) The class of persons who are not liable for audit under the Income Tax Act, 1961 or any other law. Here, the due date is 31 July of the Assessment Year [i.e., For the financial year 2018-19, the due date should be 31 July 2019]

(ii) The  class of persons who are liable for audit under the Income Tax Act, 1961 or any other law- Here, Due date is 30 September of the Assessment Year [i.e., For the financial year 2018-19, the due date should be 30 September 2019]

The due date for the first category of persons was extended up to 31st August 2019, which has passed. But the second category of persons still has a chance to file ITR without paying penalty. 

Because the due date for the second category has been extended up to 31st October 2019 by an order passed on 27th September 2019 by CBDT (Central Board of Direct Taxes). The order extended the due date of filing ITR in case of persons who are required to file their ITR up to 30th September normally. The date was extended due to the reasons like limited time availability with tax professionals to conduct an audit and file ITR, floods in various parts of the country, etc. 

So, what are you waiting for? File your Income Tax Return now to avoid penalties. Avail the benefit of the extended deadline of ITR filing.

File your ITR if you are covered in any of the persons mentioned below:

  • Any company (other than the company required to file ITR up to 30th November 2019)
  • Any person whose accounts are required to be audited under the Income Tax Act, 1961 or under any other law 
  • A working partner of a partnership firm whose accounts are required to be audited under the Income Tax Act, 1961 or under any other law. 

How to file your Income Tax Return? 

1. Visit the Income-tax department ITR e-filing website (https://incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in)

2. Login with the User Id, password and enter Captcha code. User ID is always your PAN. If you are filing ITR for the first time and not registered on the website, Register yourself first by providing a few basic details asked there.  

3. Go to E-file option, select Income tax return. 

4. Select the relevant Assessment year, ITR Form number and the Submission mode. Submission mode can be either “Prepare and Submit Online” or “Upload XML”. “Prepare and Submit Online” is available only for ITR-1 and ITR-4. For other ITR, you have to generate XML document for your ITR and then upload it.

5. After submission, verify the return. You can E-verify either by generating Aadhar OTP or through EVC or DSC. It is important to note that while filing a Return of the company, Digital Signature(DSC) of one of the Directors is mandatorily required. In case you don’t e-verify it, you need to send the acknowledgement generated in Form ITR-V after signing it to “Centralized Processing Centre, Income Tax Department, Bengaluru 560500”, by ORDINARY POST OR SPEED POST ONLY, so as to reach within 120 days from date of submission of ITR. 

6. The Income Tax Department processes ITR only after verification. So, don’t forget to either e-verify it or send the signed ITR-V to the department. 

What are the consequences of not filing ITR before 31st October 2019? 

1. A late fee of ₹1,000, in case total income does not exceed ₹5 lakhs;

2. A late fee of ₹5,000, in case total income exceeds ₹5 lakhs and ITR is filed on or before 31st December;

3. A late fee of ₹10,000, in case ITR is filed after 31st December.

4. Levy of interest. 

5. Losses (other than Loss from House Property) cannot be carried forward to subsequent years. 

6. Some exemptions under section 10 like 10A, 10B and some deductions under section 80 like 80-IA, 80-IB, etc. of the Income Tax Act, 1961 are not available. 

Points to consider while filing an ITR

  • Download Form 26AS from the e-filing website itself and confirm actual TDS, TCS, Tax paid. 
  • Carefully go through the documents to be used while filing ITR like bank Statement/ passbook, interest certificate, investment proofs for which deductions are to be claimed, books of account, balance sheet and profit & loss account, etc.
  • Don’t attach any additional documents to ITR. Provide all the details in ITR correctly. 
  • Don’t wait for the last-minute rush. File your ITR as early as possible.

Conclusion

ITR filing is the duty of a taxpayer. Also, it helps us to validate our credit worthiness before financial institutions and make it possible for us to access many financial benefits such as bank credits, etc.​​ So, it’s also fine to file your return even if you do not have any income or have income less than the maximum amount above which filing ITR is mandatory.