Will India Further Extend ITR Filing Due Date? Here’s the Latest Update

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The deadline for filing ITR for FY 2022-2023 is approaching on July 31. Many taxpayers tend to wait until the last moment to submit their returns.

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Filing the Income Tax Return (ITR) is considered a crucial annual obligation for responsible citizens in the nation. By submitting an ITR for a financial year, individuals can claim refunds for any excess tax paid or deducted during that period. The deadline for filing ITR for FY 2022-2023 (assessment year 2023-2024) is set for July 31, 2023. To ensure timely compliance, Revenue Secretary Sanjay Malhotra has urged taxpayers to file their returns promptly, as the finance ministry currently has no plans to extend the due date.

It is worth mentioning that the deadline for filing ITR without any penalty was not extended in the previous financial year, FY 2021-2022.

ITR filing data

The latest ITR filing data reveals that as of July 17, more than 2.8 crore income tax returns have been filed through the e-filing website. Among these, the Income Tax Department has already processed over 1.33 crore returns, while taxpayers have verified more than 2.64 crore returns. Interestingly, this year’s filing progress has outpaced the previous year, with the milestone of over 2 crore tax returns being achieved nine days earlier than the preceding year. In comparison, last year saw 2 crore ITRs filed until July 20, whereas this year reached that figure by July 11.

According to reports, there is an optimistic outlook for higher ITR filings this year compared to the previous one. Last year, approximately 5.83 crore income tax returns were filed by July 31, the final deadline for assessment year 2022-23. Revenue Secretary Malhotra expressed gratitude towards income tax return filers for the remarkable increase in the pace of filing compared to last year. He emphasized the importance of not waiting until the last moment and cautioned against expecting any deadline extensions.

The tax department has issued a strong appeal to those who are yet to file their ITR for AY 2023-24, urging them to act promptly to avoid a last-minute rush and any potential complications that might arise from delayed filings. Taking the initiative to file early will ensure smoother processing and compliance with the tax regulations.

What happens on missing July 31 deadline

In the event of missing the July 31 deadline, taxpayers still have an opportunity to file their ITR, but there are consequences to be aware of. The income tax law allows for belated ITR filing up until December 31, 2023. However, this late filing comes with additional financial obligations in the form of fines and interest on any outstanding taxes for the year.

Under section 234F of the Income-tax Act, 1961, a penalty of Rs 5,000 is imposed for filing a belated return. For individuals with total income not exceeding Rs 5 lakh in a financial year, the maximum penalty for the delay is Rs 1,000.

Therefore, it is crucial for taxpayers to adhere to the initial July 31 deadline to avoid incurring these penalties and added financial burdens. Filing taxes on time ensures compliance with tax regulations and prevents unnecessary financial strain due to late submissions.

What experts say

According to various tax experts interviewed by FE Money, it is advisable for taxpayers not to bank on an extension of the due date. They strongly recommend filing the ITR as early as possible to steer clear of the last-minute rush and to expedite potential refunds, if eligible.

What the Government says

As for the government’s stance on the matter, the Revenue Secretary has made it clear that there are no intentions to consider an extension of the ITR due date this year. Taxpayers are urged to take this official statement into account and act accordingly to ensure timely compliance with their tax obligations.

What should you do?

If you haven’t filed your income tax return yet, it’s essential to take action promptly. You can start by visiting the e-filing portal of the Income Tax Department and complete the tax-filing process. Ensure you have all the necessary details related to your income and taxes paid during FY 2022-23 readily available. This will help expedite the process, and it typically shouldn’t take more than 30 minutes to complete.

During the filing process, pay close attention to minute details to avoid any errors that may cause complications later on.

If you prefer professional assistance, you can seek help from a tax expert or a Chartered Accountant (CA) to handle the filing on your behalf. Many online tax filing platforms are also available, where you can file your returns by paying a small fee. These platforms provide user-friendly interfaces and can streamline the process for you.

In any case, it is crucial to act promptly to meet the July 31 deadline and fulfill your income tax obligations without incurring penalties or delays.

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