Income tax
Last date for filing belated tax returns is March 31Flickr

The financial year 2017-18 is nearing the end and the last date for filing belated returns for Assessment Year 2016-17 and 2017-18 and revised returns for Assessment Year 2016-17 is March 31.

Non-filing and incorrect filing of income tax return can lead to penalty and prosecution. To create public awareness regarding tax return filing, a series of advertisements were rolled out by the Income Tax Department in the previous months.

The March 31 deadline does not apply to the income earned during the financial year 2017-18. For salaried employees, the deadline for filing the tax return for the financial year 2017-18 is July 31.

In February, the taxman asked all companies, firms, LLPs (limited liability partnership concerns), trust, and associations to file their returns by the deadline, failing which they may face penalty and prosecution. Political parties whose income prior to the claim of exemptions exceeds the minimum chargeable to tax also comes under the regime.

To facilitate the ITR filing, income tax offices and Ayakar Seva Kendras or ASK centers will remain open during holidays till the month-end.

According to the income tax laws, it is mandatory for the individuals having income more than basic exemption limit to file ITR. Income up to Rs 2.5 lakh are exempted from tax (applicable to people below 60 years), income from Rs 2.5 lakh to 5 lakh will attract a 5 percent tax, income from Rs 5 lakh to 10 lakh will have 20 percent tax and income more than Rs 10 lakh will have to pay 30 percent tax.

The finance minister chose to keep the income tax slab unchanged in the Union Budget 2018. From April 1, new income tax changes announced in the budget -- the long-term capital gains tax on stocks, new tax rates for senior citizens on interest income etc -- will come into effect.