The last date to file income tax returns was 31st July. However, due to the technical and practical difficulties faced by taxpayers while filing ITRs, the due date to file returns of FY 2017-2018 (AY 2018-19) has now been extended to 31st August 2018.
This move of postponing the due date to file income tax returns is a relief to many taxpayers, as not filing income tax returns on time, would attract penal implications under section 234F of the Income Tax Act.
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The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) made an announcement that the due date to file income tax returns for the Assessment Year 2018-19 for certain category of taxpayers was extended from July 31st 2018 to August 31st 2018.
The timeline for filing income tax returns for Financial Year 2017-18 has been extended to 31st August 2018 only for certain categories of taxpayers. They are:
whose accounts have to be audited.
CBDT extended the due date of filing Income Tax Returns for four main reasons. They are:
The Income Tax Department has been introducing many changes in ITR Forms, ITR utilities and schemas to make filing returns easy for taxpayers. The ITR forms for the Assessment Year 2018-19 were notified on April 3rd 2018. ITR 1 utility was released on April 14th 2018. However, the corresponding ITR utilities required to file income tax returns online, were only released later in May 2018. The schema for ITR 2, 3 and 7 were updated on July 7, 2018 and the schema for ITR 5 was updated only on July 13th 2018.
The Form 26AS is an important document for salaried employees to file income tax returns. It is a consolidated tax statement that gives details on annual taxes. Form 26AS gives details of the following taxes deducted or deposited against your PAN:
Form 26AS can be downloaded from the income tax website.
Reconciliation of Form 16, Form 26AS and other documents which mention income earned or received and taxes paid are important to avoid non-reporting or under-reporting of income and deductions.
Ideally, the due date for submitting Tax Deducted at Source (TDS) statements for the last quarter of the financial year 2017-2018 was May 31st 2018 and issuance of Form 16 (TDS certificates issued by tax deductors like employers) was June 15th 2018.
However, most taxpayers got their Form 16 on or after June 15th 2018. Therefore, there was a delay in the reflection of the TDS credit in Form 26AS. Most tax deductors delayed the issuance of Form 16 and Form 16A to taxpayers. This delay may be caused due to technical glitches or delayed filings of e-TDS returns. Thus, delay in the reflection of credit of taxes deducted at source (TDS) in the Form 26AS could have led to the delay in the filing of ITR.
See Also: What Is Form 16 and Form 26AS?
With effect from the Assessment Year 2018-19, a new Section 234F was inserted in the Income Tax Act, 1961, vide Finance Act 2017. This section levies a fee for default in furnishing ITR. Taxpayers may be levied a fee ranging from Rs 1,000, Rs 5,000 and Rs 10,000. The fee levied depends upon the income and delay in filing returns beyond the prescribed timeline. A delay of even one day in filing returns attracts a penalty of Rs 5,000 if the total income exceeds Rs 5 Lakhs.
Initial months of the year 2018 had seen heavy rains in several parts of the country. This severely impacted normal way of life. It also disrupted basic infrastructure needed to file income tax returns.
Though the due date of filing returns for the Assessment Year 2018-19 has been extended, the Income Tax Department encourages taxpayers to pay advance taxes on time, so as to avoid a penalty in the form of interest. Late payment of advance taxes attracts a penalty under Section 234B of the Income Tax Act, 1961.
This move has benefited a lot of tax payers who would otherwise delay filing income tax returns beyond 31st July, 2018.
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