The Central Board of Direct Taxed (CBDT) has extended the last date for filing ITR for FY 2019-20 to December 31 in view of the pandemic. Usually the taxpayers are supposed to file ITR by July 31 but an exception was made this year due to the pandemic. So, if you're running late, you still have roughly 15 more days to sort it out.
Here are some things you should know about filing ITR:
1) 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.
2) 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. Some private entities are also registered by the I-T department which allow e-filing through their websites. Filing ITR from the I-T department's platform is free but some of the private websites may charge for certain actions.
3) The filing should be mandatorily online for all types of taxpayers except super senior citizens aged 80 years and above.
4) The deadline for FY20 is December 31, 2020. However, it is advisable to file as early as possible to avoid hiccups or errors while e-filing.
5) 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.
6) You are required to have some major documents including, Aadhaar card, Permanent Account Number (PAN) card, Form 26AS and Form 16 for filing ITR.
7) Under the current income tax laws, several forms are available for different types of assessees to file their income tax return for financial year 2019-20 namely Sahaj (ITR-1), Form ITR-2, Form ITR-3, Form Sugam (ITR-4), Form ITR-5, Form ITR-6 and Form ITR-7.
8) Don't forget to disclose foreign assets and income. To curb tax evasion, a person is required to give details of his foreign bank accounts as well as details related to it, like account opening date, interest accrued during the year, etc. Any misreporting of foreign assets may land you in trouble.
9) There is no need to enclose any documents with the return of income. However, one should retain the documents to produce before any competent authority as and when required in future.
10) You can check the status of your ITR and about ITR processing status at https://www1.incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in/e-FilingGS/Services/ITRStatusLink.html?lang=eng