The government on Friday announced that there is no proposal to extend the deadline for filing income tax returns beyond its current deadline of December 31. Revenue Secretary Tarun Bajaj said that December 31, 2021, remains the official deadline for filing of income tax returns. This means that taxpayers can file their income tax returns for the financial year 2020-2021 or assessment year 2021-2022 by midnight today (December 31).
No proposal to extend deadline to file income tax returns; the date of 31 December 2021 remains the official deadline: Revenue Secretary
— Press Trust of India (@PTI_News) December 31, 2021
The Revenue Secretary also announced that 5.62 crore income tax returns (ITRs) have been filed by taxpayers for the assessment year 2020-21, so far.
“By 3 pm today, 5.62 crore returns have been filed in total. Today, more than 20 lakh returns were filed. This year 60 lakh more returns have been filed, Mr Bajaj said.
Taxpayers will still be able to file the ITR till March 31, 2022, if they miss today’s deadline, but with a penalty. According to the Income Tax (I-T) department, an assessee who does not submit a return of income within the deadline is allowed to file a belated return at a later stage. However, certain penalty charges are applicable in the case of belated income tax returns.
A belated income tax return attracts a late filing fee under Section 234F of the Income Tax (I-T) Act. The amount of penalty payable by the assessees filing a late return increases based on the degree of delay. The penalty for filing ITR after the due date is up to Rs 5,000. Those who have an annual income of Rs 5 lakh, however, are required to pay Rs 1,000 as the penalty for filing ITR after the due date. The process of filing a belated return is the same as filing the return on or before the due date.
Usually, taxpayers are required to file the ITR by July 31 of any year. This year, the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) – the apex body which heads the Income Tax department, has extended the last date for filing ITR twice to provide relief amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Earlier, the deadline was set as September 30, 2021, which was later extended till December 31.