Dr. Sanjiv Agarwal
We are now just three days away from the end of yet another financial year (FY 2009-10) on 31st March, 2010. Any fiscal is important as after three days, we will enter into another year 2010-11.
The importance lies in the fact that we prepare accounts and financial statements, close our books of accounts based on financial year, we compute our taxes for the financial year, pay taxes and file returns based on turnover or income of the financial year only. Not only this, we ought to make investments to save on taxes within the financial year to avail tax benefits.
Not only timing is important for tax payers or investors, even for the companies, insurers and mutual funds, many new schemes and products are announced at the fag end of the year. The sales are also more during the busy tax planning season ,ie, January- March of any year. However, if one invests at the year end, he loses the opportunity to take benefit of averaging the costs, time planning and choice of products. While many tend to leave annual tax or investment planning for March, it may not be desirable. With just few days now, it is just not possible to plan. As a short cut, one can go in for investing a major chunk in public provident fund or taking a new insurance policy or purchasing National Saving Certificate. You can also pay your insurance premium in advance.
Have you filed your tax return for the financial year 2008-09. It not, here is an opportunity to file it now before 31st March 2010 without any fine or penalty. You should have paid advance tax, if payable, by 15th March 2010. You can even pay it now with interest before 31st March, if not already paid. In case of central excise and service tax, the Government expects the taxpayers to pay duty or service tax for the month or quarter ending 31st March 2010 to be paid on or before 31st March itself. So assessees will have to really work hard to pay taxes for period upto 31st March by 31st itself. E-payment is the way which makes it possible as any payment can be made on line even in late hours.
In case of income tax also, e-payment and e-filing of returns make it easier for taxpayers. However, in case of peak days when the pressure mounts on the system, technical difficulties are faced. While it is expected that the Department would ensure smooth and flawless technology platform, assessees should also not wait for the last date. It may be noted that the date of submission for ITR-V filed after April 2009 was extended up March 2010 or upto 120 days from the date of uploading , which even is later. Income tax Department’s messages rightly reads- Better late than never. Let’s fall in line —- on line and on time.
Before 31st March 2010