Taxpayers: Here's why this March 31 is important for you!
Neglect this date at your own peril!
You can end up paying penalties AND add to your tax-filing hassles.
Like companies and businesses the end of any financial is crucial for salaried taxpayers too.
Usually busy with their jobs, individuals overlook their individual taxation requirements. The basic condition to be fulfilled by an individual is filing income tax return and paying their personal tax dues. But a majority of us neglect this aspect of our finances till the very last minute, that is March 31, when a financial year draws to close.
Have you filed your tax returns in the past years?
Income tax return (ITR) filing is important even if you do not have any taxable income, or all your income is exempt from tax.
ITR is a statutory document, and may be asked as a proof even while opening a new bank account, applying for an overdraft facility or any other basic thing.
But why is March 31 of every year importance from a taxation point of view?
1. Last date for online filling of ITR for the financial year 2011-12
The Income Tax department provides an extended time for filing a belated ITR till two years after the end of the particular financial year. Yes, you still have time to file your return till March 31, 2014 but beyond this date you will never be able to file online return for financial year 2011-12.
Accordingly anytime after the lapse of two years from the end of a financial year the only option would be to file a manual return.
Filing a manual return today is another problem in itself, as it brings various issues along with it and they need to be taken care of till the manual return is processed.
So, save yourself from this hassle and file your ITR when you still have time.
Photographs: Dominic Xavier/Rediff.com
Avoid penalty for the financial year 2012-13
A penalty of Rs 5,000 may be imposed u/s 271F by the assessing officer (AO) if the return of income is not filed within the end of the relevant assessment year.
Please note that such penalty can only be imposed if you have taxable income for the financial year 2012-13 but have failed to file your income tax return before March 31, 2014.
No penalty can be imposed by the IT department once you have filed your return. So no need to panic if you miss the July 31, 2013 deadline; you can still file your returns on or before March 31, 2014 for financial year 2012-13 without a penalty.
Photographs: Uttam Ghosh/Rediff.com
Tax planning for the financial year 2013-14
If you haven't done your tax planning for the financial year 2013-14 already, you are about to run out of time.
The last minute tax planning means you will have to make adequate investments and expenditure to minimise your taxes for a particular year. The last date to do so for the financial year 2013-14 is March 31, 2014.
This is not mandatory. However an individual whose income crosses the exemption limit should do tax planning. We all make investments right? Then why to miss an opportunity to save taxes too!
For example: To claim deduction under section 80C the investments needs to be made before March 31, 2014. In case the investments are made after this date such investments would be considered in the next financial year.
Payment of advance tax
Salaried employees generally don't need to worry about advance tax provisions as their taxes are paid in the form of TDS. However, if a salaried individual has any other income which is not disclosed to the employer (like interest income earned on fixed deposits), then the excess taxes will be paid in the form of advance tax.
The provision of advance tax was introduced for Self employed persons, as no TDS is deducted in their case.
Last date for the payment of advance tax is March 31; beyond this date various interests are charged on the outstanding tax liability.
Photographs: Uttam Ghosh/Rediff.com