Filing income tax returns (ITR) is not only mandatory, it's also a sign of financial prudence. Since the last date of filing ITR is July 31, you are left with three weeks to gather all financial detail proofs and information about taxation amendments before you file your income tax returns. An important aspect of filing ITR is filing it on time, failing which you may have to pay penalty up to Rs 10,000 besides interest. The Income Tax Department keeps on reminding people to file ITR on time but there are certain details that need to be kept in mind before going ahead with filing your ITR. Income-tax returns validate your creditworthiness and make it possible for you to access financial benefits such as bank credits, etc.
Failing to file your returns before the deadline may cost you dear. Although you have an option to file ITR after the deadline -- before the end of the fiscal year 2018-19 -- you may have to pay a penalty up to Rs 10,000. The ITR for FY 2017-18 can be filed till March 31, 2019, in case you miss the July-31 deadline, but you will have to pay a penalty of Rs 5,000 if you file the return after July 31 but before December 31, 2018. Delaying it further would cost you around Rs 10,000. However, the late filing fee will not exceed Rs 1,000 if your total income does not exceed Rs 5 lakh.
If a person, after furnishing the return, finds any mistake in the return form, ITR should be revised before the end of the assessment year or before the completion of the assessment; whichever is earlier. Unlike previous times, when you were given two years to revise ITR, this year you need to file the revised ITR by the end of March 2019 for FY 2017-18.
Also, you will be liable to pay the interest of 1 per cent per month on your taxable income till the date you file the belated return. Other drawbacks of not filing ITR in time are ineligibility to carry forward loss under 'profit and gains of business or profession' and delay in the receipt of the tax refund, processed after the verification of your return.
Types of forms of return
Different ITR forms of returns are prescribed for different classes of taxpayers. For individuals, there are four ITR forms meant for different filings. While ITR - 1, also known as Sahaj, is applicable to an individual having salary or pension income or income from one house property, ITR - 2 is applicable to an individual or a Hindu Undivided Family, who is not eligible to file ITR-1 and whose income is in the nature of interest, salary, and bonus. ITR - 3 can be filed by individuals or a Hindu Undivided Family, who are into a proprietary business or profession, and ITR - 4 is for those who have opted for the presumptive taxation scheme of section 44AD/ 44ADA/44AE.
How can you file ITR
You can either furnish the return in a paper form or online under digital signature. Other modes are transmitting data in the return online under electronic verification code or by transmitting the data in the return online and submitting the verification of the return in Return Form ITR-V; don't forget to send the duly signed copy of ITR-V to the I-T department.