14 percent Indians are unsure about meeting the July 31st deadline for filing their ITR. Image: ShutterstockW
ith only three days left to file their income tax returns, Indians have their task set out for the weekend. LocalCircles, a social media platform and pollster focusing on governance, public, and consumer interest issues, released a survey report on July 28 which highlights that 27 percent individual income taxpayers are yet to file their FY-23 Income Tax Returns (ITRs). The report, which surveyed 12,000 Indians from 315 districts, further mentioned that 14 percent Indians are unsure about meeting the July 31st deadline.
The data from the report shows that 7 in 10 (73 percent) citizens have already filed their income tax returns, 5 percent of the respondents have tried but had difficulty in filing and will re-try before July 31. Eight percent of those surveyed admitted that they haven’t filed their returns yet but will comfortably do so before month-end, and 9 percent indicated that it will be impossible for them to file the income tax returns by July 31.
Last week, revenue secretary Sanjay Malhotra stated that it is unlikely that an extension will be provided to citizens to file their income tax returns for the financial year 2022-23 and that taxpayers should complete filing their returns before the deadline.
A number of cities and states in India including Delhi, Maharashtra, and Gujarat have seen extreme rainfall this year, impacting the day-to-day lives of citizens. The survey mentions it to be a major cause for individual income taxpayers to miss the deadline for filing income tax returns. The feedback from people in community discussions on LocalCircles indicates that the government should consider granting just a two-week deadline extension which will give time to many taxpayers in the flood-affected states to do the needful as the situation on ground normalises a bit, or to consider giving a deadline extension to residents of just the flood-affected states. Also read: Income tax slabs in India 2023-24: Old vs new tax regime, deductions and more
As of now, the Central Board of Direct Taxation (CBDT) has not indicated or made any announcement of an extension of the last date for filing ITR. Thus, it is most likely that the deadline to file an ITR for FY2023, or assessment year (AY) 2023-24, will end on July 31. On July 24, CBDT chairperson Nitin Gupta said that over four crore income tax returns (ITRs) for FY23 have been filed so far, and of these, around 7 per cent are new or first-time filers. He further mentioned that over half of these ITRs have been processed, and around 80 lakh refunds have already been issued. Also read: From changes in new tax regime to capital gains and more, how Budget 2023 affects personal finance
If an individual misses filing their return before the deadline, they are provided with an option to file a ‘belated ITR’ (until December 31), which includes a late filing penalty of Rs 5,000, levied under Section 234F of the Income Tax Act, 1961. In the event of not filing their return even past the deadline to file a belated ITR, the taxpayer will not be able to carry forward the losses incurred in the current assessment year (AY). Additionally, if taxpayers miss to file their income tax returns, a penalty of a minimum of 50 percent of the assessed tax and a maximum of 200 percent will be levied. Moreover, taxpayers can also face prosecution if they wilfully fail to file their returns even after getting notices from the income tax department.