Though filing of Income Tax return is voluntary but the Government of India has made the filing of return for any income which is taxable compulsory for the people.
If a person having taxable income escapes to pay the tax, he is said to do an unlawful act and is liable to pay penalty for the same.
But someone having a non-taxable income can file his return, filing of return in connection with a taxable income is compulsory.
The Income Tax Act provides the due dates of filing returns by people and paying the due tax. When someone in spite of having an income which is taxable at the hands of the assessee e fails and / or neglects to pay his due tax to the Income Tax Department, he is liable to pay penalty and interest on the same.
Due date of filing return:
The due date of filing income tax return is 31 st July for the year which comes to an end on 31 st March in case of those who are salaried or those businessmen who are not supposed to get their accounts audited. For those kinds of assessee who are required to get their accounts audited the due date is 30 th September. An assessee should file his return within this due date.
Importance of filing return:
1. It helps in processing of visa.
2. It helps in easy processing of many kinds of bank loans.
3. It helps in getting credit cards of banks.
4. It gives a proof of income before the Government officials.
5. It helps in purchasing of assets.
6. It helps in many kinds of monetary transactions.
Filing of belated tax returns:
Returns filed after the due date are belated tax returns which are supposed to be filed within two years from the end of the relevant financial year. Return filed even after that period is considered to be time-barred, as such, cannot be filed. Belated Tax Return for the financial year ending 31st March of ant financial year should be filed within 31st March of the next two years. For escaping avoid penalty the return has to be filed within 31st March, 2014.
Effects of not filing Income Tax Return:
1. It makes an assessee liable to pay penalty along with interest under the provisions of Sections 234A, 234B, 234C.
2. Any loss such as speculation loss, business loss except those for unabsorbed depreciation , any short term capital loss or long term capital loss, loss for the purpose of owning and maintenance of horse races etc. cannot be carried forward.
In view of the above it can be concluded that it is advisable to file income tax return within due time.