The Central Board of Direct Taxed (CBDT) has extended the last date for filing income tax return (ITR) for FY 2019-20 to January 10, 2021 in view of the pandemic, from the earlier deadline of December 31, 2020. Usually the taxpayers are supposed to file ITR by July 31 but an exception was made this year due to the pandemic. This is the third time the tax return filing deadline for FY2019-20 has been extended. So, if you're running late, you still have roughly 10 more days to sort it out.
"In view of the continued challenges faced by taxpayers in meeting statutory compliances due to outbreak of COVID-19, the government has further extends the dates for various compliances," Income Tax department said in a tweet.
As per latest data released by the I-T department, more than 4.54 crore tax returns for 2019-20 fiscal have been filed till December 29, as compared to 4.77 crore in the comparable period last year. At the close of deadline for filing ITRs without payment of late fees for fiscal 2018-19 (assessment year (AY) 2019-20), over 5.65 crore returns were filed by taxpayers.
The data released by the tax department showed that over 2.52 crore ITR-1 have been filed till December 29, 2020, lower than the 2.77 crore filed till August 29, 2019. Over 1 crore ITR-4 have been filed till December 29 as compared to 99.50 lakh filed till August 29, 2019.
Income tax returns are the tax forms used to declare the details of your income to the Income Tax Department to assess the amount you need to pay as income tax in a financial year. The tax return is also necessary to claim a refund of any additional amount that might have been deducted at source (TDS) and deposited with the income-tax department.
ITR can be filed online through a process known as e-filing. An independent portal has been established by the I-T department for e-filing of income tax returns. The filing should be mandatorily online for all types of taxpayers except super senior citizens aged 80 years and above.
In case an assessee doesn't file ITR at all, a penalty may be levied which is a minimum of 50 per cent of the assessed tax or a maximum of 200 per cent of the assessed tax. The assessee may have to face prosecution also (i.e. rigorous imprisonment for a term up to 7 years and fine), in extreme and high-value cases.
By Chitranjan Kumar