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Why you should file your income tax returns before July 31

One of the most important aspects of filing income tax returns (ITR) is adhering to the deadlines. Missing them can lead to late fee, penal interest and complications. The date also varies based on whether you are an individual or run a business or company.
Why you should file ITR
Your ITR serves as an official record of your income and taxes paid, which can be helpful in obtaining loans, visas, and other financial transactions. Filing your returns on time ensures that you comply with tax laws, thereby avoiding penalties and legal proceedings.
In certain circumstances, filing an ITR is not just a choice but a legal obligation. For instance, if your total income exceeds the basic exemption limit set by the Income Tax Department, you are required to file a return.
An individual should file the return if his/her income exceeds the maximum exemption limits, which, under the old tax regime, would be Rs 2.5 lakh for an individual (both men and women), Rs 3 lakh for resident senior citizen (age 60 years or more but less than 80 years) and Rs 5 lakh for resident super senior Citizen (age 80 years or more),” says Yeeshu Sehgal, Head of Tax Market, AKM Global, a tax and consulting firm.
Under the new tax regime, the basic exemption limit is Rs 3 lakh for all.  Companies and partnership firms are mandatorily required to file the return despite losses.
Besides that, if you have paid excess tax during the fiscal, filing a return is the only way to claim a refund. Additionally, timely filing allows you to carry forward losses to subsequent years, which can be offset against future gains. Overall, timely filing helps avoid penalties and interest charges for late filing or non-filing, ensuring financial discipline and legal compliance.
Do not miss the due dates for filing ITR
The due date for filing an ITR varies depending on the type of taxpayer and the specific circumstances. For salaried individuals and other taxpayers (without audit requirement), the due date for filing ITR is July 31.
On the other hand, “for corporates and other taxpayers who are required to get their accounts audited under the Income Tax Act, the due date is generally October 31 of the assessment year. For the financial year 2023-24, the due date would be October 31, 2024. In cases where transfer pricing is involved, the due date for filing the tax return would be November 30, 2024,” adds Sehgal.
If you miss the original deadline, you can file a belated return by December 31 of the assessment year. However, this will attract penalties (ranging from Rs 1,000 to Rs 5,000) and interest.
Filing ITR after the due date can lead to several penalties and other consequences. Therefore, understanding the deadlines and preparing in advance can help you meet these obligations smoothly. As the due date approaches, make sure you have all your documents ready, seek professional help if necessary, and file your return.
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