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Q. What is Income Tax Return Filing?

Ans: Return of Income is nothing but an evidence of the income earned by a person (individual, company, LLP, AOP, BOI, and HUF etc.). It is merely mode of determination of the income and other specified details of the person such as the mode of income and the taxability on his income. It is a form in which one has to report his income and capitals, and details of the allowances and relief claimed, for a particular tax year.

Filing of returns is voluntary on one hand but mandatory on the other hand. If a person is having an income which is taxable, but he is an escapist, his income becomes “black money” as he is not adhering to the law of his country. The Government makes it mandatory for every assessee to file his return and pay tax if it falls within its definition but a person can still file his return even when he is not having any taxable income. The tax rates imposed by the income tax department depend on type of assessee and his nature of income. It has also specified the due dates within which the assesse have to deposit the tax with the IT Department, the non-compliance of which would attract additional payment in the form interest and penalty.

Q. Who are liable to file their returns?

Ans: Person having tax liability up to Rs 500000 are not liable to file their returns will not be entitled to the advantages of return filing. Hence, they too should file their returns.

But persons who are required to file their income tax return are as follows:-

Particulars

Whether required to file return

Total income (in case of a male or a Hindu undivided family, and a resident in India and not more than the age of 65 years)  exceeds Rs. 200,000

Yes

Total income (in case of woman and a resident in India and not more than the age of 65 years) exceeds Rs.2,00,000

Yes

Senior citizens who earn income by any source other than business income

No

The limits mentioned in the particulars column are as per Finance Act, 2012 which is amended every year in the Budget presented in the month of February of every year.

The last date for filing income tax return is 31st July every year after the financial year ends on 31st March each year.

Q. What are the due dates for filing of return?

Category

Due date

In case of any other assesses (Individual salaried or other income below audit limit)

31st July of the Assessment year

In case of assesses who are required to get their accounts audited under the Income Tax Act or any other law for time being in force

30th September of the Assessment Year

In case of working partners of the firm whose accounts are required to be audited under the Income Tax Act or any other law for time being in force

30th September of the Assessment Year

Q. Why is Income Tax Return Filing important?

Filing of return provides legality to what we are earning whether we are paying tax on it or not. Prompt payment of taxes and filing of returns is less likely to attract attention of the IT Department. Accordingly, filing of returns is significant in many ways as follows:-

a. A mandatory concept has been introduced for every person to file his return even if it is below the exemption limit, no matter what.

b. Any transaction can be legally entered into because the government is having records of the income and it is collecting tax on it.

c. Payment of taxes helps every citizen to participate in the contribution towards national income and consequently in the appraisal of the national economy.

d. Willful evasion of tax or intentional avoidance would lead to prosecution by IT Department.

e. If a person accrues losses in his business, he cannot carry it forward to set off against his income in the next year if he does not file his return for the relevant previous year.

Q. What are the advantages of Income Tax Return Filing?

a. Return filing facilitates easy and speedy processing of housing, education, vehicle loans etc. as banks would not provide any loan if the borrower has not filed his return for three years even if it is a NIL return.

b. Return filing is mandatory for VISA processing.

c. Return filing facilitates quick registration of immovable properties.

d. Credit card will not be issued by the banks unless the applicant regularly files his return.

e. Filing of return provides a standard proof of income of a person and helps to establish a record with the tax department.

Q. What are the consequences of non filing of Income Tax Return?

a. Losses such as business loss (speculative or non-speculative),capital loss(long term or short term) and loss in race horse maintenance  are not eligible to be carried forward as per section 80 of the IT Act.

b. Filing of revised return u/s 139(5) of the IT Act cannot be facilitated if the original return u/s 139(1) has not been filed.

c. Non filing of returns attracts penalty as follows of Rs. 5000 along with interest u/s 234A, 234B, and 234C accordingly.

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Category Income Tax, Other Articles by - Amita jhunjhunwala 



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