Income Tax Returns: Who should file them and when?

Last Updated at: Nov 04, 2019
Income Tax returns: Who should file them & when?
Income Tax returns: Who should file them & when?

Filing Income Tax returns is an important aspect of the taxation regime. Often there arise cases where people are either unaware of such filings or intentionally tend to dodge them. Legally, you are a taxable person if taxable income arises. It means that the responsibility to file returns if you cross the specified income slab is on every citizen of the country. Moreover, the timely and consistent filing of returns allows you to avail various benefits like lower interest on loans, easy issuance of credit cards and other future transactions. Some people voluntarily file returns, even if their income doesn’t cross the specified slab. This is done because it serves as an income proof and results in easier procurement of loans, visa approvals etc. However, there are various myths around the filing of tax-returns which must be debunked. It is always better to make informed decisions and to do so you need to understand the tax filing process. This post will help you understand all questions surrounding the return filing process- taxable income and last date to file your ITR.

File Your ITR Right Now.

Who Can File an Income Tax Return?

Consider the following pointers while checking whether you can income tax return or not. Firstly, it should be filed before the last day of the financial year (i.e., 31st July of every year). However, this is only applicable to individuals filing such returns. For businesses, it is to be filed before the last day of September (i.e., 30th September of every year). For the following persons, it is mandatorily required to file tax returns:

A. Government from time to time specifies a certain exemption slab. Only those people whose annual gross income crosses that slab are required to be the assessee of filing income tax returns. There is an age-wise bar specified for individuals, different slabs have been specified for individuals under the age of 60, senior citizens and super senior citizens.

  1. Below 60 years of age: Rs.2, 50,000/-
  2. For Senior Citizens (Between 60 years to 80 years): Rs.3, 00,000/-
  3. For Super Senior Citizens (Over 80 years of age) – Rs.5, 00,000/-

B. Non-Resident Indians [NRIs] who have taxable income and are not covered Section 115 AC of Income Tax Act, 1961.

C. Apart from individuals, even a company or a firm has to file returns in a given financial year. The filing responsibility on such enterprises is mandatory irrespective of whether it is enjoying profit or suffering loss.

D. If an Indian resident holds some asset or any kind of financial interest outside India or acts as a signing authority for any foreign account, it is mandated for him to file a return.

E. If the income received is obtained from the sale of a property which had been held under anybody or trust which is a charitable or religious trust, political party or educational institution.

The above-mentioned class of people are mandated to file an Income Tax Return. Failing to do so, they are penalized for their default. Even if one doesn’t fall in the categories mentioned above, he or she may voluntarily (not mandated) file returns. This is often done to procure a valid income proof which helps in availing loans in the future.

Every financial year, the Government notifies the last date to file the returns. It is generally around the same time, but different for the different assessee. Mostly, the below-mentioned deadlines are followed:

  1. For Individuals – Last day of July/August of every financial year.
  2. For Body of Individuals – Last day of August of every financial year.
  3. For Hindu Undivided Families- Last day of August of every financial year.
  4. For Association of Persons- Last day of August of every financial year.
  5. For Businesses- For business requiring an audit it must be filed on the last day of September.
  6. For Business which require a TP Report instead, it is to be filed on the last day of November.

If the deadlines are violated and returns are not filed by this time, the assessee is penalized, liable to pay a fee ranging between Rs.5000/- to Rs.10, 000/-. It is always a good option to file the ITR on time to avoid attracting unnecessary hassle.