What Does This Year's Income Tax Month Have in Store For Entrepreneurs?

The ITR filing date has also been extended by a month for certain categories

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With July of every year generally being the Income Tax Month with respect to filing income tax returns, entrepreneurs are bound to file Income Tax returns and accordingly pay taxes or claim refunds on returns. Generally, the last date to file Income Tax Returns (ITR) is July 31; now, the Central Board of Direct Taxes in a new notification has stated that the deadline for filing of ITR and paying of income taxes for certain categories of taxpayers has been extended up till August 31.


New Deadline for ITR

With the August 31 deadline applicable to taxpayer categories who were mandated to file ITR by July 31, the additional time could potentially result in entrepreneurs filing their ITRs error-free and by avoiding last-minute hassles.

If you fall into the category of taxpayers requiring filing before July 31, undoubtedly you have a month’s time to sort out your income tax documents and file ITR to claim refund or pay applicable taxes. However, for belated returns, beyond the due date, you would be required to shell out a penalty of INR 5000 depending on when you have filed the income tax returns.

There are other penalties amounting to INR 1000 and INR 10000 based on the delay incurred. However, if you are a small taxpayer whose income is under INR 500000 per annum, you would only be slapped with INR 1000 as late fee irrespective of the delay.

“The due date for filing of Income Tax Returns for Assessment Year 2018-19 is 31.07.2018 for certain categories of taxpayers. Upon consideration of the matter, the Central Board of Direct Taxes(CBDT) extends the due date for filing of Income Tax Returns from 31st July 2018 to 31st August, 2018 in respect of the said categories of taxpayers,” states the Finance Ministry in an official media statement.

As a norm, entrepreneurs (and people in other professions) whose incomes are required to be audited generally are required to file their ITRs after July 31. For those whose incomes do not require auditing, the due date generally is July 31.

Don’t fall prey to phishing scams this Income Tax season

With ITR filing being the key point of focus, entrepreneurs should exercise caution so as to stay safe from phishing scams which masquerade as genuine emails from the Income Tax department. For all correspondence, the official portal of the income tax department is the best source.

“A survey conducted in December 2017 revealed that 62% of companies don’t train employees to recognize phishing attempts and 41% of IT Pros report at least daily phishing attacks,” states Chester Wisniewski who is Senior Security Advisor at Sophos.