If you faced technical glitches on the last day for filing tax returns for assessment year 2015-16 (Financial year 2014-15) of August 31, 2015, then there is reason for you to cheer.
The Income Tax Department has extended the due date for filing income tax returns for everyone by a week. Initially, only taxpayers from Gujarat were offered an extended week to file returns in lieu of the agitations in the state.
Later on September 2, 2015, Rohit Garg, Deputy – Secretary to the Government of India notified, “CBDT has further received representations that cross the country, taxpayers had faced hardships in e-filing returns of income on August 31, 2015, due to slowing down of e-services. Therefore, CBDT hereby extends the due-date for e-filing of returns of Income from August 31, 2015 to September 7, 2015, in respect of all taxpayers who are required to e-file their returns by August 31, 2015.”
So, if you are looking to physically file your returns then you may be disappointed, as no relief has been granted. You can look at e-filing returns as an option.
This year, all those who had an income above Rs. 5 lakh, apart from those who wanted to claim refunds had to file electronic returns. Those above 80 years were offered a relaxation from electronic filing even if their income exceeded Rs. 5 lakh.
On August 31, 2015, the income tax department received 3475 electronic returns per minute. As e-filing offered the flexibility of time more than half of the total returns were filed beyond office hours. A total of 1.84 crore returns were received this year till August 31, 2015.
Though one can file delayed returns for the assessment year 2015-16 upto March 31, 2016, without paying any penalty and also file returns of the previous assessment year with a penalty of Rs 5,000, there are certain benefits that you would lose out on.
Revision and rectification isn’t permitted for delayed returns. Also, those looking to carry forward losses cannot do so, if you don’t file the return within the due date, which now is September 7, 2015.
Taxes that are paid later too attract a penalty of 1% per month. The clock for penalty on delayed taxes starts ticking from April 1 or the tranche of advance tax when your taxes were due. Another reason to file the tax returns early is to get faster refunds.
So, avoid procrastinating and file your returns now!