Things to remember while filing your income tax returns as deadline closes in

Failure to file ITR can attract penalty or prosecution depending on the offence

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The deadline for income tax returns filing is closing in as the last date to file ITR is just over a week away. However, if you are hoping for a deadline extension, it’s not likely to happen this year. The Centre has stated that July 31 deadline will not be extended and has been urging taxpayers to avoid last-minute rush. The IT department revealed that 3.06 crore Indians have filed their returns so far and it has verified 2.81 crore ITRs.

What happens if you don’t file ITR by July 31?

If the deadline is not extended beyond July 31, you will have to pay a penalty of Rs 1,000 if your income is under Rs 5 lakh and Rs 5,000 if your income is above Rs 5 lakh. It will also attract additional interest of 1% per month until the return is filed. If you underreport your income, you have to pay a penalty of up to 50% and if you misreport your income, you will be levied up to 200%. Non-filing despite reminders can even lead to prosecution.

What is 26AS/AIS and why is it important?

The first thing to remember while filing your tax returns is to declare all income shown in Form 26AS/AIS, a statement issued by the IT Department regarding your tax payment and deduction. This will help you avoid any inconsistencies in the filing.

How to claim TDS credits?

When the deducted tax does not match the payable amount, you can claim a refund. To avoid unnecessary tax payments, claim all TDS (Tax Deducted at Source) credits by making sure that the details mentioned in your Form 16/16A are shown correctly in your tax return. While filing the returns, provide the details of a bank account and IFSC code so that a TDS refund can be sent to you.

How to check your refund status?

If you are eligible to get a refund from the tax department, your refund will be processed within 20 to 45 days of filing and it will be sent to your account. To check your refund status, log in to your income tax e-filing portal, go to the My Account section and click on Refund/Demand status.

How to declare a deduction in income tax?

Make sure that you declare deductions related to investments in life insurance, medical insurance, post office schemes, Employees' Provident Fund, Public Provident Fund and home loan interest to reduce your tax burden along with investment proofs.

Why is e-verification important?

After filing income tax returns, don’t forget to e-verify the same within the stipulated time to ensure that it is processed by the tax department. Without e-verification, the tax filing is considered invalid. Failing to verify will attract all the consequences of not filing your returns. However, you can request a condonation of delay in e-verification by giving an appropriate reason. If the request is approved by the IT department, you can e-verify your return.

How to file a revised return?

If you have forgotten to report any income or claimed the wrong deduction or provided the wrong bank account details in your tax return, you can file a revised return without any penalty. The process is the same as filing the original ITR but you have to file it under section 139(5) of the IT Act and provide details of the previous one. However, make sure that you e-verify the revised return after filing just like the original ITR.


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