By India Today Business Desk: Over 5 crore people have filed their income tax returns (ITR) for the assessment year 2023-24, according to the Income Tax Department.
Of these ITRs, nearly 4.5 crore have already been e-verified, signaling a much smoother tax return filing process this year. This is why most tax experts and chartered accountants believe that the government is unlikely to announce an extension.
In fact, revenue secretary Sanjay Malhotra recently said that there have been no considerations for a deadline extension beyond July 31, 2023. The tax department has urged people who have not filed their ITR to get it done before the deadline.
Therefore, the possibility of a deadline extension looks bleak but cannot be completely ruled out.
READ | ITR filing deadline on July 31: Will it be extended?
Heavy rainfall and flooding in several parts of the country have impacted many taxpayers, who may not be in a position to file their ITRs on time. There are chances that the government will consider the situation and offer an extension.
Moreover, a survey conducted by LocalCircles suggests that a small number of taxpayers could miss the July 31 ITR filing deadline. Over 14 per cent of the 12,000 people surveyed won’t be able to file their ITRs within the due date.
The survey also found out that 27 per cent of the surveyed people are yet to file their income tax returns.
On the other hand, the survey suggested that 7 out of 10 have already filed their income tax returns.
It added that 5 per cent of the respondents have tried to file their ITR but faced difficulties. They said it will take a great effort for them to file their tax return before the deadline. And 9 per cent suggested that it will be impossible for them to file their ITR by July 31.
Importance of filing ITR within the deadline
Filing ITR within the July 31 deadline is important as it not only allows taxpayers to avoid and rectify critical mistakes but also dodge late fees and high penalties.
Those who miss the ITR filing deadline have to file a belated return, which accompanies a late fee of Rs 5,000 for those earning above Rs 5 lakh per annum. The fee is Rs 1,000 for those earning below Rs 5 lakh. In some cases, taxpayers could also face prosecution, heavy penalties, and even imprisonment.