The last date for filing your tax returns for the financial year 2008-2009 was July 31, 2009. But even though the process got a tad simpler with the online option, some of you may have missed your deadline. But don’t fret. You have a second chance.
If all your tax was deducted at source, you can file your returns by March 31, 2010, sans a penalty.

In other words, if your only source of income in 2008-09 was your salary and your company has deducted the tax at source, then you can file your tax returns by March 31, 2010.

And if you miss this date, you can still file your returns by March 31, 2011. However, be ready to shell out Rs 5,000 as penalty!

If you still have some tax to pay, file your returns by March 31, 2010. But you will be charged a penalty of 1 per cent for each month of delay.

That means that if say, you have income from rent or investments, ideally, you should have calculated your tax and paid it by 31 July 2009. But if you haven’t, you can still do so by 29 March 2010 (with the 1 per cent penalty per month of delay).

For instance, if you have to pay Rs 4,000 in tax, and instead of paying it by July 31, you pay it on October 31, you would have to pay a penalty of 3 per cent (1 per cent for three months), that is Rs 120.

If you miss this date, too, file your returns by March 31, 2011. But you will need to shell out Rs 5,000 as penalty, over and above the 1 per cent!

But late filing of tax return is not a good option for everyone.

If you made a loss (in business or capital gains) and want to carry it forward to the next year, you must file your returns on time. Taxpayer cannot carry forward the same to claim a set-off against future income if the tax return is not filed on time.

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