With the income tax department allowing ample time for filing returns, many taxpayers take it easy. For the income earned in the past financial year (FY16), a taxpayer can file returns up to March 2018. However, sticking to the first deadline of July 31 has its benefits.
Say, you make a mistake while filing returns — it can be a wrong computation or incorrect bank account details. If you file returns on time, the income tax (I-T) department will allow you to revise it as many times as you wish until the end of the assessment year. In case of belated filing, the taxpayer loses this advantage. “Not being able to revise returns can lead to problems. For example, in case of wrong computation, the department can send a notice. Incorrect bank account details can delay refunds,” says Vikram Ramchand, founder, Makemyreturns.com.
Missing the first deadline also means that the taxpayer cannot carry forward certain losses. The Income Tax Act allows individuals to carry forward losses under the ‘capital gains’ head and also business losses for professionals and businesspersons. These can be adjusted against the future gains for up to eight years. Due to the correction in stock market in the last financial year, many investors would have suffered a loss in their equity trade. Filing returns on time can help them utilise these losses in the coming years.
“The only loss that’s allowed to be carry forward for latecomers is the loss from house property,” says Ramchand. This is the deduction that a person gets on the interest portion of a home loan under Section 24. Though the deduction can be claimed in the subsequent year, the total limit for deduction will remain Rs 2 lakh for first-time home buyers. In case of a house property that’s not self-occupied, the entire interest can be claimed as deduction.
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