If you are looking to avoid paying any penalty charges on the income tax you are liable to pay, you must file your income tax return by the end of this month. August 31, 2018 is the deadline, or last date, for individuals to file their income tax return for assessment year 2018-19 (financial year 2017-18). Filing or submitting an income tax return after that day will attract a penalty amount ranging from Rs 5,000 to Rs 10,000 depending upon the degree of delay. Filing the income tax return well before the August 31 deadline will help you avoid last minute rush, say experts.
Here's a checklist for filing the income tax return (ITR):
1. What happens if an individual misses the last date of August 31?
Not filing the income tax return within the due date attracts interest at the rate of 1 per cent per month as well as penalty charges starting from Rs 5,000. A three-tier fee system has been introduced for not filing income tax return within the due date, say tax experts.
If the income tax return is filed beyond due date but before December 31, then fees payable will be Rs. 5,000 whereas in other cases it will be Rs. 10,000. However, in case of taxpayers whose total income does not exceed Rs. 5,00,000, the fees payable shall be restricted to Rs. 1,000, said Ashok Shah, partner, N.A. Shah Associates LLP.
2. Which form should you use to file the income tax return?
The Income Tax Department has provided seven forms - known as ITR forms - to enable assessees to file their income tax return online. These forms are namely ITR 1, ITR 2, ITR 3, ITR 4, ITR 5, ITR 6 and ITR 7. The process of filing an I-T return online is known as e-filing. These tax forms are applicable for assessment year 2018-19, which means they relate to income earned in financial year 2017-18, according to the taxman.
3. What are the various income tax slabs?
In the general category, individuals with annual income up to Rs 2.5 lakh are not liable to pay income tax. For those with an income between Rs 2.5 lakh and Rs 5 lakh, the five per cent slab is applicable - meaning income tax of 5 per cent. In the senior citizen and super citizen categories, annual incomes up to Rs 3 lakh and Rs 5 lakh do not attract income tax, according to latest rules.
4. Can changes be made to an income tax return after it is filed?
Changes to an ITR, once filed, can be made till March 2019 (for financial year 2017-18, and assessment year 2018-19) should an individual make a mistake and wishes to make a correction. Previously, assessees were given a two-year window to revise and resubmit an erroneous ITR. The earlier an individual files the ITR, the more time he or she gets for making a revision, say experts.
5. How to verify an income tax return? Is it mandatory to do so?
The Income Tax Department has mandated the public to verify the income tax return after submitting it. The taxman offers several ways such as mail, net banking, ATM and Aadhaar - to verify an ITR once it is submitted.
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