Income tax calendar: The last date to file your ITR

If you earn an income, pay taxes or are liable to pay taxes, markdown these tax dates in your calendar. Whether you are salaried or self-employed, you must plan and pay your taxes and file your returns on time.

Our income tax calendar will help you keep track of the key dates.

But before we get to the calendar, you should understand the difference between the assessment year (AY) and financial year (FY).

Financial year: In India, the financial year begins on 1 April and ends on 31 March. The financial year 2020-21, for example, runs from 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2021. You must file income tax returns declaring the income earned during this period by 31 July 2021.

Assessment year: The assessment year is the year that follows a financial year in which you assess and pay taxes for the previous year. For example, in AY 2020-21, you would file returns and declare income earned for FY 2019-20.

The Tax Calendar

As a new financial year begins, you must start planning your tax investments, whether through tax-saving FDs, equity-linked saving schemes or PPF. As most people do, it’s more efficient if you do it early rather than during the far end of the year.

The first date you should remember is 31st July.

July 31: Due date for filing income tax returns

You must file your income tax returns (ITR) for the financial year ending 31st March by 31st July of the same year. If your total income, before deductions, is more than Rs. 2.5 lakh (Rs. 3 lakh for senior citizens above 60 years of age and Rs. 5 lakh for senior citizens above 80 years), then it is mandatory to file your returns. 

Tax returns declare your income for the previous year and taxes you have already paid via tax deducted at source (TDS). If you have paid more taxes than you are liable to, you can claim refunds.

However, this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the government extended the final date of filling to 15 March.

Who does not need to file returns by 31st July

  • Corporate assesses (or taxpayer)
  • Non-corporate assesses whose books of accounts must be audited under the Income-tax provisions
  • Partner of a firm whose accounts must be audited under the Income-tax provisions
  • Taxpayer who is required to furnish a report under section 92E

31 March (of AY): Due date for filing late income tax returns or revised returns

If you have not furnished a return by 31st July (for the previous FY). In that case, you can file it before the end of the assessment year on 31st March or on completion of assessment by the assessing officer, whichever is earlier. This complies as per provisions of section 139(5) of the Income Tax Act, 1961

For example, if you have not filed your returns for FY2019-20 (AY20-21) then you can file late returns up to 31st March 2021, or on completion of assessment by the assessing officer, whichever is earlier. 

Starting FY2018-19, the government has introduced a fee for failure to furnish the income-tax return under Section 234F. The maximum penalty could go up to Rs. 10,000, but for taxpayers with incomes of not more than Rs. 5 lakh, the penalty has been fixed at Rs. 1000.

31st March (of FY): Due date for making tax-saving investments

If you plan to make tax-saving investments in ELSS, FD, PPF, insurance, etc., you must do so by 31st March of the relevant financial year to claim deductions.

Last dates to pay advance taxes for FY 2021-22

QuarterDue datePercentage of total tax to be paid
First15th June15%
Second15th September45%
Third15th December75%
Fourth15th March100%

If you are a salaried individual and your only source of income is your salary, you need not worry about advance taxes since your employer deducts taxes at source. But if you are self-employed or have other sources of income, then this is important for you.

To make it easier for you to plan your financial year, the government mandates that you pay your taxes in quarterly instalments, if your tax payable is more than Rs 10,000 annually or in case you possess any income under the head profits/gains from business and profession. However, a resident Indian who is of the age of 60 years or more and does not have any income under the head profit and gains of business and profession is exempted from payment of advance tax.

Further, suppose a person is eligible for declaring his income under section 44AD or section 44ADA and intends to opt for the same. In that case, he shall be liable to pay 100% advance tax in a single payment on or before 15th March of the relevant financial year.

If you fail to pay the percentage of  advance taxes within due dates as mentioned above, then you - will  be liable to pay interest @ 1% on the shortfall amount  in accordance with Section 234C of the Act., 

Further, in case the total amount paid as advance tax is less than 90% of your total assessed tax, then you will be liable to pay tax @ 1% on the shortfall amount from the beginning of the assessment year, i.e., 1 April till the date of payment in accordance with section 234B.

Property transaction -- Last date for filing Form 26QB: 

If you buy immovable property, you must deduct 1% TDS from the amount payable and deposit it with the IT department. You must file Form 26QB, furnishing all the details about the buyer and seller like name, address, and PAN. This must be done within 30 days from the month you deducted the TDS. Here are a few things to know about filing (or not) Form 26 QB:

  • Does not apply for dealings in agricultural land.
  • If the purchase price is paid in instalments, TDS to be deducted on each instalment
  • TDS to be deducted at 20% for sellers without PAN.

Last dates for submission of investment declaration to avoid TDS: Beginning of the financial year

At the beginning of the financial year, your employer will ask you to file in Form 12BB, an investment declaration form. This allows your employer to calculate your TDS to be deducted for the financial year.

You just need to file estimates of your tax-saving investments at the beginning of the fiscal year and not documentary proof of your investments. You must furnish proof of investment by the end of February of the financial year.

The declaration covers the following expenses and investments:

  • Eligible deductions
  • House rent
  • Leave Travel Allowance
  • Interest on home loans
  • Deductions under Section 80 for various tax saving investments, insurance, education loan interest, interest from a savings bank account

However, this year the last day of submission was on 31st December 2021 as they were a number of technical difficulties on the new ITR portal.

Last dates for submission of Form 15G and 15H: 15th July/ October/ January and 30th April

You can file Form 15G and 15H and request your bank not to deduct TDS on the interest income if total income is below the basic exemption limit. While Form 15H is for senior citizens, Form 15G is for persons other than senior citizens. All you need to do is provide your PAN.

Additionally, during the Union Budget in 2021, the Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman provided further benefits to senior citizens who depend on pension and interest income and are above the age of 75 years would no longer have to file ITR.

Investor can claim a deduction of a maximum of Rs. 1.5 lakh per annum by investing in a tax-saving FD. Know about your returns with FD Calculator.

* The information provided in this article is generic in nature and for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for specific advice in your own circumstances. You are recommended to obtain specific professional advice before you take any/refrain from any action. All information is subject to the relevant Act, Rules, Regulations, Policy Statements, etc., of the Income Tax Department and subject to change. Viewers are advised to verify the content from original Government Acts/Rules/Notifications etc.