January 18, 2020
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Time To File Returns
First, the rules: every individual with a taxable income of more than Rs 50,000 in the preceding financial year must file returns of income by July 31, if s/he is not subject to an audit. If the individual is subject to an audit under any Act, the deadline is October 31. Further, under the recently launched Suvidha scheme certain sections of employees can file their returns through their employer; the returns must be submitted online by August 31. Now for the big question: what happens if you don’t file by the due date?

Interest payments. The first consequence: if after tax deduction at source and advance tax payments, you still owe the taxman, you will have to pay interest on the balance tax payable at the rate of 1.25 per cent per month.

Loss of losses. If you don’t file your returns in time, you will not be allowed to carry forward any losses under certain heads of income, like capital gains. The losses will lapse and you lose the opportunity of being able to set them off against future capital gains.

Penalty. Last, but not least, there is a penalty of Rs 5,000 if you file your returns after the taxman’s extended deadline of March 31 (following the due date of your returns). Reason enough, wouldn’t you say to file your returns on time?

Become A Groupie
When you are stuck with a workplace problem, it’s unlikely that your colleagues are dying to help you. So, what do you do? Take it to an e-group. That’s because no matter what your job description, no matter what your problem, there’s an e-group out there that has all the answer. And it’s not just the quality of responses you get, but the short response time that makes e-groups so useful. Besides, many have emerged as head-hunting forums. So what are you waiting for? All you need to do is run a search on the Internet to find an e-group in your work area.

Fudging Numbers
Even before the dust settles on the Enron-Andersen fiasco, new financial tremors, involving WorldCom and Xerox, are spooking international investors. The sheer scale with which balance sheets have been fudged makes scams involving banks and regulators seem a waste of time. Imagine what can be done by simply fudging numbers?

But can this happen in India? Well, the numbers can be manipulated by two sets of people: the management and the auditors. While accounting standards are stringent, they are blunted by a failure to bring scamsters to book. Sebi chief G.N. Bajpai offers some advice: "The systems and processes should be strengthened to reduce systemic and operational risk. If all else fails, punitive action should be so strong that it deters defaulters." Food for thought?

For more details on these articles, read Intelligent Investor or log on to www.iinvestor.com and also get personalised information and analysis from our experts who answer queries on small savings, insurance, loans, taxation, mutual funds and shares.

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