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ITR - Better late than never

By Vishesh Sharma | 8/1/2011 3:15 PM Monday

Every year, as the month of July nears its end, people find themselves in a mad scurry to collate the documents required to file their income tax returns. This is particularly true of the middle and higher-middle income groups, who otherwise have no great inclination towards taxes and tax authorities. This leads to a whole lot of people not being able to meet the deadline for filing returns, as prescribed by law in this regard. Ideally, a person must file his/her tax returns on time. However, sometimes certain exigencies do make this difficult. Are you also faced with such a situation this year? Well, you can still file your returns, though at an extra burden. Of course, as they say, it’s still “better late than never”.

Who Has To File Income Tax Returns?

The first question that comes to mind is who is required to file tax returns. Also, what are the criteria that define whether you are required to file returns or not. To answer this in very simple terms, any person, whose total income from all sources exceeds the maximum amount exempted from income-tax by the government, is liable to file his/her return of income with the authorities. Statutory provisions in this regard were amended a few years ago, with a view to bring a larger number of persons into the tax net. The amended provisions rule that all persons who satisfy any one of the following six additional conditions are also required to file a return of income:
  • Owns a vehicle
  • Occupies a specified floor area of an immovable property
  • Incurs expenditure for himself or for any other person on foreign-travel
  • Subscribes to a telephone
  • Subscribes to a Credit Card
  • Is a Club member

According to law, corporate assessees and other assessees who are required to get their accounts audited under Income Tax Act 1961 or under any other law, have to file their returns before 30th September every year. Other assessees have to file their return of income on or before 31st July every year. So, the last date for filing returns with respect to income that was earned during the financial year 2010-11 for the second category of tax payers was 31st July, 2011. However, in case you haven’t complied with this requirement, it may still be advantageous to file your returns anyway, as they are usually demanded by banks and financial institutions for various pur-poses like investments, loans and so on. It is also important to file returns, in case you have any refund due for excessive tax deductions that may have happened on your account.

 

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