People who have not filed their Income Tax Returns (ITR) yet, have just a few hours in hand to do so as the deadline ends at midnight today. On Friday, the Income Tax Department said its field offices will remain open till Saturday midnight to facilitate very senior citizens and those with income below Rs 5 lakh to file tax returns for financial year 2016-17. The due date for filing of ITR pertaining to 2016-17 fiscal and assessment year 2017-18 was earlier on July 31.
An official statement put out by the Finance Ministry on Friday said, “In order to facilitate manual filing of returns on August 5, 2017, being a Saturday, the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has directed that necessary arrangements be made for receiving Income Tax Returns up to midnight in all Income Tax Offices throughout the country.”
Earlier on July 31, the deadline for filing of Income Tax Returns was extended to August 5, by the Finance Ministry in view of difficulties faced by taxpayers online. The decision of the extension of filing ITR was taken after a meeting of senior officers of the revenue department and the Central Board of Direct Taxes was held in the finance ministry on Monday. “In order to facilitate the e-filing of return, it is also decided to give extension of five days for e-filing of return. The return can be filed up to August 5,” the ministry said.
According to an earlier report, the government said that the main reason for failure of people to log in was because of last minute rush and panic in which those who have already logged in want to continue for the entire period for fear of losing it.
The filing of ITR has become stringent than ever, especially if one has made cash transactions of Rs 2 lakh or more post demonetisation, from November 9 to December 30, 2016. It has been made mandatory to report such transactions for financial year (FY) 2016-17. E-filing of ITR is required for all individuals except those whose income is less than Rs 5 lakh per annum and who are above 80 years of age. According to a PTI report, individuals with age 80 years or more, an individual or Hindu Undivided Family (HUF) whose income does not exceed Rs 5 lakh and who has not claimed any refund in the return of income, have an option to file ITR-1 (Sahaj) or ITR-4 (Sugam) in paper form.
An amount of Rs 58,783 crore has already been received as advance tax up to June 30 reflecting a growth of 11.9 per cent over the advance tax payments of the corresponding period of last year, said an earlier release issued by the Income Tax Department. The department also conveyed that it had received over 2 crore returns filed electronically.