By: MK Agarwal.
While 31 July is the deadline for filing your tax return, many taxpayers miss it. Some don't bother because all their taxes have been paid and they only have to file their return. Since this can be done till the end of the relevant assessment year (31 March 2013) without incurring any penalty, they take it easy. Others miss the last date because they don't have all the details required in the tax form.
These could include the TDS information or deduction sought by the taxpayer. From this year on, the tax forms also require the PAN
numbers of recipients of donations and details of foreign assets. A taxpayer may decide not to file his return till he gets hold of these details. This may not be a wise move.
If you don't file by 31 July, you forego some of your rights as a taxpayer. For instance, if you file your return by due date, you are allowed to modify it any number of times till the time of assessment. If you file it after the due date, you cannot revise it. This can be a costly error because if there is some miscalculation in your tax liability, you won't be allowed to rectify the mistake. This is not such a big problem if you have missed out on some deduction for which you were eligible. All you stand to lose is a few thousand rupees you paid in excess tax.
What happens if you underestimate your tax liability because of a miscalculation, say, forgetting to include income from other sources. You can revise your return only if you adhere to the filing deadline. There is no penalty for voluntarily filing a revised return, but there could be a hefty one for under-reporting your income. CARRY FORWARD LOSSES
There are other benefits that you stand to lose if you miss the 31 July deadline. Income tax laws allow you to carry forward some of your losses for up to eight financial years. These losses can be set off against capital gains made in the future. In other words, if you suffered capital losses in 2011-12, these can be adjusted against gains till 2019-20. What can be better news for investors who made losses due to volatile stock markets in 2011-12?
However, you won't be eligible for this benefit if you don't file by due date. The exception is in case of house property. The loss incurred by selling a house can be carried forward to subsequent financial years even if the return has not been filed by the due date. ARE YOU EXEMPT FROM FILING?
There are many taxpayers who are under the impression that they are exempt from filing returns because their annual income is less than Rs 5 lakh. This exemption comes with several conditions. It is only for salaried taxpayers who have income from one employer and bank interest. If you changed jobs during the year, or have some fixed deposits, capital gains and rental income, you will have to file your return.
Source:-The Economic Times