When to File Your Income Tax Return

Income Tax Return

For individuals and non-audit cases, the income tax return filing process for FY 2023–24 (AY 2024–25) has started. The deadline for filing individual tax returns (ITRs), including those from salaried classes and non-audit cases, is July 31, 2024. An individual filing their income tax return declares their taxable income, the taxes they owe, and any refunds they may be entitled to.

Taxpayers can furnish the tax authorities with detailed information regarding their financial transactions, revenue sources, and costs by filing an income tax return. It facilitates the assessment and efficient collection of taxes by the government and aids in determining the tax burden of the taxpayer. As a result, taxpayers are urged to submit their ITRs as soon as possible rather than waiting until the July 31, 2024, deadline.

Who Must File an Income Tax Return?

For individuals whose total income over the exemption threshold (Rs 300,000 under the New Regime), filing an income tax return is required. The return must be submitted by the specified deadline.

Additionally, everyone must file an income return if they met any of the following requirements during the preceding year:

Income Tax Return
  • Has deposited an amount exceeding Rs 1 Crore in one or more current accounts with a bank or cooperative bank.
  • Has incurred aggregate expenditure exceeding Rs 2 Lakh for travel to a foreign country, either for oneself or another person.
  • Has incurred aggregate expenditure exceeding Rs 1 Lakh for electricity bills.
  • Has total sales, turnover, or gross receipts from a business exceeding Rs 60 Lakh.
  • Has total gross receipts from a profession exceeding Rs 10 Lakh.
  • Has total TDS and TCS of Rs 25,000 or more, with the threshold being Rs 50,000 for resident individuals aged 60 years or more.
  • Has aggregate deposits in one or more savings bank accounts exceeding Rs 50 Lakhs.

When to Submit Your ITR

Early filing can be beneficial for taxpayers who do not have to deal with TDS application, share transactions, cash deposits in bank accounts, property purchases or sales, a single source of income, limited deductions, or other complex financial transactions. It takes less time to complete tax planning and document reconciliation when the tax position is pretty simple.

However, since TDS (tax deducted at source) now affects the majority of incomes, including rent, interest, and salaries, it is preferable that ITRs be submitted starting in the second week of June. Others also report data related to and reflected in your ITR. Thus, do not reconcile your figures with the TDS data that is reported on your PAN until the first week of June.

The second week of June is when non-resident Indians (NRIs) must also file their taxes. It is better for them to wait and compare their information with that on the IT portal because they have less control over their finances and incomes produced in India.

Hold off on AIS and Form 26AS.

Form 26AS & AIS indicate TDS deducted by the deductor against the taxpayer’s PAN by May 31st. The tax payer will claim in their ITR the amount of TDS deducted. If you file your ITR before May 31st, you run the risk of forgetting to claim TDS. If the taxpayer does so and Form 26AS isn’t updated, TDS may be denied, resulting in a demand letter from the income tax department. Additionally, any transaction that appears on Form 26AS & AIS but is not recorded in the ITR is also subject to departmental correspondence for clarification.

Tax Regime

If you wish to pay taxes in accordance with those requirements, you must choose the previous tax regime as it will be the default starting with Academic Year 2024–2025. It is noteworthy that in order to benefit from the deductions and exemptions that are unavailable under the new tax regime, one must expressly choose the old tax regime. The necessary ITR forms, including ITR-1/ITR-2/ITR-3/ITR-4, have already been made available by the Income Tax Department, and ITR filing has started on the IT portal.

The updated ITR forms for the fiscal year 2024–2025 aim to gather more data in order to enhance transparency and comply with the 2023 Finance Act revisions. For example, ITR-1 is intended for taxpayers with total income up to Rs 50 Lacs from salary, one house property, other sources, and agriculture income up to Rs 5000/-. In contrast, taxpayers must choose between IT-3 or ITR-4 if their income is derived from business or profession profits and gains. The taxpayer must choose the tax regime in ITR-1, but in ITR-4, they must submit Form 10-IEA in order to opt out of the new tax system.

Penalty & Interest

If an individual’s total income exceeds INR 5 lakhs, there will be a penalty of INR 5000/ for late filing of their income tax return for FY 2023–2024; in all other cases, there will be a penalty of INR 1000/ per section 234F of the income tax act. In addition to this penalty, if you file your return after the deadline, you will be assessed interest at the rate of 1% per month, or a portion of the month, on the amount of unpaid taxes under section 234A of the act.

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