If you still haven’t filed your income-tax returns for FY10, here’s your last chance. But since the deadline is 31 March, you better hurry up.
What was the original deadline
The first deadline was 31 July 2010. This was further extended to 4 August 2010. And finally, 31 March is the last deadline.
What if you miss the deadline
If you do not owe any tax to the income-tax department and you miss the last deadline, too, you may be charged a penalty of Rs 5,000. Remember that the penalty is based on the discretion of the income-tax office.
In case you owe some tax to the department, you can still file your returns till 31 March, but you will have to pay a penal interest of 1% per month on the amount of income-tax due.
What about advance tax deadline
The deadline to pay your advance taxes just went by on 15 March. If you have received any taxable income after 15 March, you can pay advance tax on it and file your returns any time up to 31 March. For instance, if you make long-term capital gains by selling a property on 18 March. If you meet the deadline, you will not be charged any interest.
Where to file
Since you don’t have much time on hand, it’s best you take the online route to file your taxes. There are a number of online tax portals such as Taxspanner.com, Taxshax.com and Taxsmile.com where you can file your returns for a few hundred rupees that too in a matter of 20 minutes or so.
If you want free service, you can do so at the income-tax department’s website, https://incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in/portal/index.jsp.
Alternatively, you can also rely on the services of your chartered accountant or tax consultant, but most probably, they too will file your returns online. Of course, you can visit your local income-tax office and file your returns, but that means standing in long queues.