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Avoid Late Fees: File Your Income Tax Return by July 31, 2024 

It is mandatory for all the taxpayers in India to file the Income Tax Return every year. It guarantees that your earnings have been properly considered for taxation. This knowledge of the deadlines, the steps, and the consequences of failing to meet the deadlines is very essential in avoiding the penalty laws associated with tax evasion.

Important Dates for Filing ITR

1. ITR Filing Last Date

The due date to file Income Tax Return (ITR) for the Financial Year 2023-24 (Assessment Year 2024-25) without a penalty is the 31st of July in the year 2024.

2. Belated Return

In case you could not fill the return before 31st July, you can still file a return after the due date. But this attracts penalties and interest charges. The time allowed for the filing of a belated return is the 31st December 2024.

3. Other Important Dates

  • For businesses requiring an audit: 31st October 2024
  • For businesses requiring transfer pricing reports: 30th November 2024
  • For revised returns: 31st December 2024
  • For updated returns: Up to 2 years from the end of the relevant Assessment Year i.e. 31st March 2027 for AY 

Financial Year (FY) and Assessment Year (AY)

  • Financial Year (FY): This is the year when you make your earnings. For instance, FY 2023-24 refers to the in-come generated in the financial year from 1st April 2023 to 31st March 2024.Assessment Year (AY): This is the year following the Financial Year in which your total income is determined. For the Income earned in FY 2023-24, the Assessment Year is 2024-25 which is from 1st April, 2024 to 31st March, 2025.

ITR Filing – Start Date

ITR for the financial year 2023-2024 and assessment year 2024-2025 can be filed electronically from the 1st April 2024. It will be wise to submit your returns as early as possible to avoid congestion and confusion.

Consequences of Missing the ITR Filing Deadline

1. Interest (Section 234A): If you file your return after the due date, you are exposed to interest of 1% per month or a part of the month on the amount of unpaid tax until you file your return.

2. Late Fee (Section 234F): If you fail to meet the deadline, there will be a penalty of ₹5,000. However, if the total income of the applicant is less than ₹ 5 lakh, then the late fee is charged at ₹ 1,000 only.

3. Loss Adjustment: When you file the tax return after the due date you cannot transfer losses from stock market, mutual funds, property, business, etc. , to the subsequent years. This can lead to increased tax liability in later years.

4. Belated Return: It remains possible to file belated taxes returns until 31st December 2024, although there are penalties for late filing such as a fee and interest charges. You will also lose the opportunity to transfer losses forward.

5. Updated Return: Even if you fail to meet the belated return deadline, you can file an updated return till 31st March 2027 with certain conditions.

Filing of ITR

Online Filing

1. Visit the official e-filing portal of the Income Tax Department.

2. You use PAN as the user ID to either register or sign in to the portal.

3. Choose the correct ITR form or go for ITR form online.

4. Input all the required information concerning your income, deductions and taxes paid.

5. Check and confirm the information, create the XML file, and place it on the website.

6. You may validate your return through Aadhaar OTP, net banking, or by physically posting the signed ITR-V to the CPC Bangalore.

Using Tax Filing Software

1. If you are a salary earner, you can upload your Form 16, and the software will help complete your return.

2. Freelancers and small business owners, Clear Tax helps in filing ITR-4. They also have CA-assisted plans, for more complicated returns.

Assisted Filing

  • Chartered Accountants (CAs) and tax professionals can assist you in filing your ITR, especially if your financial transactions are complex.

Important Due Dates for Advance Tax Payments

Advance tax is paid in installments if your total tax liability exceeds ₹10,000 in a financial year. Here are the due dates:

Due Date Nature of Compliance Tax to be Paid
15th June 2024 First Installment 15% of total tax liability
15th September 2024 Second Installment 45% of total tax liability
15th December 2024 Third Installment 75% of total tax liability
15th March 2025 Fourth Installment 100% of total tax liability
15th March 2025 Presumptive Scheme 100% of total tax liability

Filing of ITR – Step by Step

  • ITR-1 for salaried individuals
  • ITR-2 for persons having income from capital gains
  • ITR-3 for professionals and business owners
  • ITR-4 for presumptive income from business or profession

Gather Required Documents:

  • PAN card, Aadhaar card
  • Form 16 (For the salaried employees).
  • TDS certificates
  • Bank and post office interest certificates
  • Proof for deductions as allowed under section 80C, 80D, etc.
  • Bank statements
  • Investment proofs

If you’re a new user you need to register while if you have an account you need to log in.

1. Fill the Form: You will be asked to key in your personal details, income details and tax saving investments.

2. Verify the details to ensure they are accurate.

3. Compute Tax Liability: The portal or software will calculate your tax due from the information that you filled in.

4. Pay Tax (if applicable): If any tax dues are left to be paid, use the e-payment option found in the portal.

5. Verify Your Return: Your return can be verified through Aadhaar OTP, net banking or by filing ITR-V at CPC Bangalore.

6. Submit the Return: On verification, file your ITR. An acknowledgment will then be produced for your files.

Conclusion

Filing your Income Tax Return on time helps you meet legal requirements without facing penalties and interest in addition charges. The patient should be aware of time constraints and procedures to ensure that the process runs efficiently and with minimal complications. Employing the services of an online tool, software, or hiring a professional will ease the filing process and ensure that the deadlines are met stress-free. 

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The Author is an Income tax, Accounting and GST Practitioner and can be contacted at 9024915488.

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