As a taxpayer, you should be aware that the last date to file one's income tax returns (ITR) for the financial year 2018-19 was extended to 31 August 2019. Following the announcement, changes were made to facilitate smoother filing of the returns for tax filers.
"CBDT has extended the due date for filing Income Tax Returns for certain category of assesses from July 31, 2019 to August 31, 2019. Accordingly the IT return preparation software are modified to update the 234A interest calculation along with certain other minor corrections and the same is available for download," the e-filing website's notification said on Thursday.
Ideally, when one misses the deadline to file ITR (that was earlier set at 31 July), one is required to pay an interest under section 234A to the department as a fine. The forms are now adjusted to not include the charge if the ITR is filed by 31 August 2019.
Known as penal interest, it is charged at 1 percent per month on the tax payable amount and is calculated as simple interest. For example, if you miss the deadline by 3 months, and your tax payable is Rs 10,000, you will be charged a 3 percent interest of Rs 300.
To help in faster filing of the income tax returns, the Income Tax Department also launched a lighter version of the e-filing website. This is only for those already registered with the website and only provides e-filing related services. Services like linking one's Aadhaar to PAN cannot be done over the lite version.
One can access the e-filing lite website by visiting the income tax department's main official website and find it under "Quick Links," by clicking on "Quick ITR Filing" (refer image below) or visit https://lite.incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in
It enables users to:
- File ITR and e-Verify
- Download Pre-Fill XML
- View e-Filed Income Tax Returns (Without XML/ITR/ITR-V download options)
If you wish to access the full version of the portal, (if you are not a registered user), it can be accessed by clicking "Portal Login" Button in e-Filing Home page.
"Income tax department is launching 'e-Filing Lite', a lighter version of e-Filing portal with a focus on filing of Income Tax Return (ITR) by the taxpayers. The same can be accessed by clicking 'e-Filing Lite' button in home page. The current e-Filing portal having all the services can be accessed by clicking on 'Portal Login' button," the department notified.
Lighter versions of a website are usually launched for geographies with low-internet speeds or for those using mobile data to access internet. As filing one's income tax returns can only be done online, the lite version will help those living in rural parts of the country.
The tabs on the e-filing lite website were also reduced. While the primary e-filing portal has 8 tabs in its main menu and 43 links, the lite version has only 3 menu tabs and 3 links-namely - Dashboard, My Account and e-file.
For services like pre-validating your bank account, making changes in the account details (such as address, mobile number) or to view your Form 26AS, you will need to access the main portal.