The Income Tax Department has started to send out emails and text messages as reminders to e-file your Income Tax Returns for assessment year (AY) 2015-16. This means that you have to file your returns on the income that you earned in financial year (FY) 2014-15. The question is—why is the tax department sending out these reminders right now?
It is because 31 March 2016 is a critical deadline to e-file your returns for AY 2015-16. The initial date to e-file the returns was 31 July 2015, which was later extended twice—31 August 2015 and 7 September 2015. Ideally, you should have e-filed your returns by then. But if you still haven’t, you can do so till 31 March 2016.
But what if you don’t? What happens after 31 March 2016? Well, you will still be able to e-file your returns but the tax department may fine you for late filing. If you have tax due for AY 2015-16 and you don’t e-file returns before 31 March 2016, the assessment officer can levy a penalty of Rs 5,000 under Section 271F. This fine would be subject to the amount of taxes that are due and it would be at the discretion of the assessment officer.
To avoid any penalty, it is best to e-file your returns before 31 March 2016. In fact, you should do it well before 31 March to avoid any last minute rush.
It has often happened that the tax department’s servers fail to function adequately during the last couple of days because of the large number of e-filers. Hence, you should e-file your returns in the coming week itself.
If you have 10 minutes to spare, you can do it right now. Yes, that is all it takes to e-file your returns on the clearTax website. Our intuitive platform will prepare your returns automatically if you upload your Form 16 and you’ll be done in a jiffy.
So, don’t wait either for 31 March or for tomorrow. Take a few minutes out and e-file your returns right away on clearTax.in. It’s extremely simple to use and free.