In a series of tweets on Thursday, the Ministry of Finance confirmed that the last date for filing Income Tax returns (ITR) has been extended from July 31 to August 31 to certain categories of taxpayers.
The tweet says, "Upon consideration of the matter, the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) extends the 'Due Date' for the filing of Income Tax Returns from 31st July 2018 to 31st August 2018 in respect of the said categories of taxpayers."
The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) notification, however, has not explained the category of taxpayers who can file ITR till August 31. The ministry has also not mentioned the reason for the change in the deadline.
The decision to extend the deadline is believed to have been taken after several groups requested the central government to push to later. The introduction of new forms also leads to delays in filing of returns.
CBDT had confirmed the new ITR forms for the assessment year 2018-19 on April 5.
For the first time, non-filing of ITR before the due date for the assessment year 2018-19 will attract penalty. A new section 234F was inserted by the government in the Income Tax Act, which demands an individual should pay a fee of up to Rs 10,000 for filing ITR after the last day specified in section 139(1) of the Act. However, the penalty for the taxpayer with less than Rs 5 lakh total income has been restricted to Rs 1,000.
The Income Tax Department has made the entire process of filing tax returns simpler this time. Along with the new penalty provisions, the income of the government is set to soar by a big margin.
The department had also recently warned the taxpayers not to follow any unlawful practice of evading taxes either by under-reporting income or claiming excess deductions like house rent allowance (HRA), leave travel allowance (LTA) and others.