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Last chance to file Income Tax Return for year 2015-16 and 2016-17

CA Umesh Sharma 
on 28 February 2018

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Arjuna (Fictional Character): Krishna, the last month of the financial year 2017-18 is about to begin and so is the worries of all the taxpayers, what must a taxpayer should know for this year march ending?

Krishna (Fictional Character): Arjuna, the month of March is very important for all Taxpayers. In our Country, the Financial Year April to March is applicable for all Tax Laws. That's why Books of Accounts are made for the period of April to March. In Budget 2017 Stringent provisions relating to filing of Income Tax Returns have been made.

Arjuna: Krishna, who all are required to file an Income Tax return?

Krishna: Arjuna, It is mandatory for-

1) Individuals, HUF's Who have income above exemption Limit
2) For Companies, LLP's Partnership Firms irrespective of their Income.
3) Trusts, Political Parties whose Income before exemption exceeds the basic Limit liable for Tax.

However its also recommended for persons who have

1) Income below exemption limit but have deposited large amounts of cash in bank accounts during demonetization period.
2) Persons who have made high value transactions.

Also Non filing or incorrect filing of return of income may result in penalty or prosecution.

Arjuna: Krishna, What was the time limit for filing Income Tax Return for the year 2015-16?

Krishna: Arjuna, The due date for filing the income tax return for the year 2015-16 was 05th August 2016 for assesses not Liable for Tax audit and 17thOctober 2016 in case of assessee Liable for Tax audit. However belated return can be filed up to 31stMarch 2018 but as the return belated, losses cannot be carried forward and Interest will be levied on payment of income tax.

If return for the year 2015-16 is not filed before 31st March 2018 then the taxpayer cannot file his return afterwards.

Arjuna: Krishna, What was the time limit for filing Income Tax Return for the year 2016-17?

Krishna: Arjuna, The due date for filing the income tax return for the year 2016-17 was 05thAugust 2017 for assesses not liable for Tax audit and 7thNovember for assesses liable for Tax audit. However belated return can be filed upto 31st March 2018 but as the return filed late losses cannot be carried forward and interest will be levied on payment of Income Tax.

If return for the year 2016-17 is not filed before 31st March 2018 then the taxpayer cannot file his return afterwards

Arjuna: Krishna, what is the due date for filing Income Tax returns for the year 2017-18?

Krishna: Arjuna, The due date for filing Income Tax return for the year 2017-18 is 31stJuly 2018 for assesses not liable for tax audit and 30thSeptember for assesses liable for Tax Audits. If return is not filed within due date, late fees will be levied Rs 1,000 if the income if below Rs 5,00,000 and Rs 5,000 if the income exceeds Rs 5,00,000 and if the return is filed after 31stDecember then the late fees will be Rs 10,000.

Arjuna: Krishna, What must a Taxpayer learn from this?

Krishna: Arjuna, In life the most important thing that takes a person towards success is "Discipline" and these measures taken by the government will bring "Financial Discipline" in the country. Tax Payers should welcome these changes and should support by giving their contributions and filing timely returns. Taxpayers have last opportunity to file Income Tax returns for the year 2015-16 and 2016-17 on or before 31stMarch 2018.


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