The income tax department has extended the due date for filing income tax returns for FY 2018-19 to 31 August 2019 for the taxpayers (not subjected to audit under any law). Earlier, the deadline to file tax returns was 31 July 2019. The extension has brought relief to the taxpayers as there were multiple problems faced by most individuals and HUFs.
The department received various appeals from the Chartered Accountant/tax practitioner societies for the extension of the due date. The request to the department was made to provide sufficient time for the taxpayers to file their ITR properly.
There are many reasons for such appeal for an extension of the due date. This year, the department had extended the deadline to file their TDS returns of Q4 (FY 2018-19) to 30 June 2019 from 31 May 2019. As a consequence, the due date to issue Form 16 to the salaried individuals was extended to 10 July 2019 from 30 June 2019.
Even if the salaried individuals received their Form 16s by 10 July 2019, they were left with only 21 days to file their income tax returns by the earlier due date of 31 July 2019. All these extensions were made considering the changes made to the ITR forms, TDS return form (Form 24Q) and to redress the genuine hardship of the return filers.
This year the taxpayers were asked to provide income details from various sources in greater details. Even though it is easier to fill salary details in ITR-1 as the individuals just had to copy-paste their Form 16, reporting other income sources is still a tedious task.
Further, the individuals filing ITR-2 has to fill their salary break up such as basic salary, HRA and so on in the return form. These details are not pre-filled in the XML generated by the department.
If the tax returns are not filed on or before the due date, which is now 31 August 2019, then the taxpayers will have to pay a late filing fee of up to Rs 5,000. The late fee is limited to Rs 1,000 in case the taxable income does not exceed Rs 5 lakh.
With this extension of the due date, the taxpayers will have enough time to file their ITRs without worrying about late fees.