The income tax return filed for the last year has more than doubled to 3 crore, according to a report in The Times of India. Data collected up to the last week shows the number of refund cases has also increased by more than 81 per cent to 65 lakh. The refund amount cleared was Rs 77,700 crore, which was 35 per cent higher than the figure last year. The income tax department successfully added 1.06 taxpayers last year and the aim is to increase another 1.25 crore new taxpayers.
The sharp increase in the number of filings this year, ahead of the deadline of July 31, might be due to heavy penalties that have been imposed from this year onwards. For example: according to new rules any ITR filed after July 31st will have a penalty of Rs 5,000. For ITRs filed after December 31 there is a penalty of Rs 10,000. The income tax department, however, last week extended the deadline to August 31st this year.
CBDT stated in a circular issued today, “The due date for filing of Income Tax Returns for Assessment Year 2018-19 is 31.07.2018 for certain categories of taxpayers. Upon consideration of the matter, the Central Board of Direct Taxes(CBDT) extends the ‘due date’ for filing of Income Tax Returns from 31st July, 2018 to 31st August, 2018 in respect of the said categories of taxpayers.
The new deadline to file income tax return is now August 31, 2018, accordingly, if you don’t file ITR by the end of July then it won’t be treated as a belated return. But if you miss the deadline of August 31, then according to the Income Tax Act, for returns pertaining to any financial year the last date for late return would be the end of the relevant assessment year. For example: For Finacial Year 2017-18 (AY 2018-19), the last date would be 31 March 2019, and it would be your last opportunity to file the return.