A company/firm; or any other person whose total income exceeds the maximum amount which is not chargeable to income tax is required to file the income tax return on or before the due date in the prescribed form. Furthermore, the tax return form is required to be verified in the prescribed manner as per the provisions of Income-Tax Act, 1961 (the Act).
The Due date
Different dates have been specified under the Act for filing a tax return by different sets of tax payers. In the case of salaried individuals, the tax return is to be filed by July 31 as the relevant financial year draws to a close.
Making up for the loss
If any person who has sustained a loss in any financial year under the head 'Profit & gains of business or profession' or under the head 'Capital gains' and wants such loss to be carried forward to be set off against his future income, then he should furnish his tax return on or before the due date.
Missed the deadline?
If a person has not furnished his tax return within the due date or within the time allowed under a notice issued to him by the tax authorities as per the provisions of the Act, then he may furnish his tax return at any time before the expiry of two years from the end of the relevant financial year for which return is to be filed or before the completion of the assessment, whichever is earlier.
Omissions, if any
If any person who has filed his tax return within the due date or in pursuance of a notice issued under the Act, discovers any omission or any wrong statement in the same, then he may file a revised return at any time before the expiry of two years from the end of the relevant financial year or before the completion of the assessment, whichever is earlier.
If the taxmen consider that the return filed by the tax payer is defective under the provisions of the Act, then they may intimate the defect to the tax payer and give him an opportunity to rectify it within 15 days from the date of such intimation or within such period as they may deem fit.
Signing the tax return
In the case of an individual, the return is to be signed by an individual himself. In case such individual is absent for some reason, then his return could be signed by any person duly authorised by him on his behalf.
In such an event, the person signing the return should hold a valid power of attorney from the individual to do so. In case an individual is mentally incapacitated from attending to his affairs, then the return is to be filed by his guardian or any other person competent to act on his behalf.
Why file a tax return?
Besides being an important record of an individuals taxable income, filing a tax return has a few other important advantages. Generally, banks ask for a copy of the tax return(s) while granting loans business loans, home loans, etc. In respect of immigration/foreign travel as well, many a time the immigration authorities insist upon copies of tax returns. Thus, due care and caution should be exercised while filing ones tax return.