Income Tax Deadline Looms: Penalties and Consequences for Late Filers
Income Tax Deadline Looms: Penalties and Consequences for Late Filers

Have you iissed the Income Tax deadline?  Then Act before December 31, 2023, to avoid penalties and consequences.

For those who haven't yet submitted their Income Tax Returns for the financial year 2022-2023, the looming deadline is December 31, 2023. Initially set for July 31, 2023, the government has extended the filing date to accommodate taxpayers until the end of this year.

Filing your ITR after July 31 classifies it as a belated return. But what happens if you miss the December 31 deadline? All taxpayers, whether individuals or corporations, audited or non-audited, must file their returns by this date. Individuals who fail to meet the July 31, 2023, deadline will face penalties, with a Rs 5,000 charge under Section 234AF. However, those with a total income below Rs 5 lakh will face a reduced penalty of Rs 1,000.

Additionally, there's an interest component under Section 234A. Interest accrues at a rate of 1 percent for each month or part thereof on the unpaid tax amount. It's essential to file using the prescribed ITR form for the specific assessment year.

Has the deadline been extended for 2023? No, the government hasn't prolonged the ITR filing deadline past December 31, 2023. Failure to file will prevent carrying forward losses from the current financial year and may lead to penalties ranging from 50 percent to 200 percent of the assessed tax, as per the Income Tax department.

Interestingly, a new record has been set, with over 6.77 crore Income Tax Returns (ITRs) filed by July 31, 2023. This number for the assessment year 2023-24 surpasses the previous year's count by 16.1 percent, highlighting the increasing compliance in tax filing.

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