The Importance of Filing Income Tax Returns on Time
It is that time of the year again when income tax filers in India gear up to meet the filing deadline. The Revenue Secretary, Sanjay Malhotra, has emphasized the significance of filing income tax returns on time, urging taxpayers to complete the process before the July 31 deadline. The government is not contemplating any extension, making it essential for individuals to act promptly.
Last year, approximately 5.83 crore income tax returns were filed by July 31, the final day for filing returns for the assessment year 2022-23. This year, there is an expectation that the numbers will surpass the previous year’s figures. In an interview with PTI, Secretary Malhotra expressed optimism about a higher filing rate, urging taxpayers not to wait until the last moment.
Filing income tax returns on time is not just about meeting legal obligations; it plays a crucial role in the country’s economic growth. The government aims to mobilize ₹18.23 lakh crore from corporate and individual income tax, which is 10.5% higher than the previous year. By fulfilling one’s duty to file returns promptly, individuals contribute to the fiscal stability and development of the nation.
Moreover, timely filing of income tax returns ensures that taxpayers avoid penalties and unnecessary hassles. Delayed filing can result in penalties and interest charges, making it financially burdensome for taxpayers. By submitting their returns well before the deadline, individuals can avoid such repercussions and have peace of mind.
Another aspect worth highlighting is the growth rate of the Goods and Services Tax (GST), which currently stands at 12%. The revenue collected through GST plays a vital role in funding various government initiatives and public services. By adhering to the deadline, taxpayers contribute to a steady revenue stream, facilitating the smooth functioning of the government machinery.
Furthermore, early filing allows individuals to access various exemptions and deductions effectively. Senior citizens, for instance, can benefit from specific exemptions and deductions, but only if they file their returns within the stipulated time frame. By being proactive and filing on time, individuals can maximize their tax benefits and potentially reduce their tax liability.
While the growth rate of excise duties may be lower than expected due to rate reductions, Secretary Malhotra remains optimistic about achieving the government’s taxation targets. The Budget 2023-24 projects gross tax receipts of ₹