The world changed dramatically in 2020. We were hit by a rare disaster, the COVID-19 pandemic, which resulted in a substantial loss of human lives. And, to contain the spread of this contagion, the country had to go into the Great Lockdown. The result? There has been a magnificent collapse in the economic activities with lingering uncertainty about its revival.
The effects of the pandemic are still prevalent as we start the new year 2021. And considering this, the government has extended many statutory deadlines of 2020 well into 2021.
Here, we look at some important financial deadlines in 2021 that everyone must remember:
January 10, 2021 – Deadline to file the income tax return (ITR)
Are you an individual who is not required by law to get his accounts audited? If yes, then the deadline to file your income tax return (for the financial year 2019-20) is January 10, 2021.
Following is the list of ITR forms applicable to various assessees:
Resident individuals having:
- Total income up to Rs. 50 lakhs.
- Income from salaries.
- Income from (one) house property.
- Income from other sources (interest on a savings account, etc.).
- Agricultural income up to Rs. 5,000.
Individuals and HUFs not having any income from profits and gains of business and profession.
Resident individuals, HUFs, and firms (other than LLPs) having:
- Total income up to Rs. 50 lakhs and
- Income from business and profession computed under sections 44AD, 44ADA, and 44AE of the Income Tax Act, 1961.
Also, it is important to remember that missing this deadline would attract a penalty of Rs. 10,000.
January 15, 2021 – Deadline to submit the tax audit report
The deadline to submit the tax audit report by the assessees who are statutorily required to get their accounts audited (under section 44AB of the Income Tax Act, 1961) has been extended by the government to January 15, 2020, from the earlier deadline of December 31, 2020.
The deadline of January 15 is also applicable to the assessees required to be audited in relation to international and specified domestic transactions during the financial year 2019-20. The audit report is required to be submitted in the following forms available on the e-filing website of the income tax department:
Assessee carrying on business or profession who is required to get his accounts audited under any other law (law other than income tax law) – companies are mandatorily required to get audited under Companies Act, 2013 will furnish Form 3CA.
Assessee carrying on business and profession who are not required to get their accounts audited under any other law.
January 31, 2021 – Deadline to file the declaration under Vivad Se Vishwas Scheme:
The Vivad Se Vishwas Scheme was introduced in the Budget 2020 to settle the disputes of income tax and reduce the pending income tax litigations. The deadline to file the declaration under the scheme is January 31, 2021.
February 15, 2021 – Deadline to file Income Tax Return (ITR) for specified individuals
The assessees required to get their accounts audited under section 44AB of the Income Tax Act, 1961 will be filing the return of their income in Form ITR-3 on or before February 15, 2021.
The February 15, 2021 deadline is also applicable to those assessees required to submit a report under section 92E of the Income Tax Act. Section 92E applies when international/specified domestic financial transactions were undertaken in FY 2019-20.
February 28, 2021 – Deadline to submit life certificate for pension
Senior citizens are required to submit a life certificate for their pension annually. Pensioners are required to submit this certificate, so their pensions are not discontinued. The government extended the deadline to submit by February 28, 2021, from November 30, 2020.
March 21, 2021 – The last date to pay advance tax
With effect from April 1, 2020 dividend received from companies has been made taxable in individual recipients' hands. The dividend income is taxable based on the income tax slabs applicable to a person's income. If the dividend income exceeds Rs. 5,000 in a financial year, TDS provisions are also attracted. Moreover, if your tax liability (net of TDS) exceeds Rs. 10,000 in a financial year, the provisions of advance tax apply to you.
So, have you received substantial dividend income in the FY 2020-21?
If yes, the advance tax provisions likely apply to you and the last date to pay the advance tax is March 21, 2021. Failure to make these payments may attract penal interest.
March 31, 2021 – Deadline for PAN-Aadhar linking
The government-mandated the linking of Aadhar with PAN numbers failing which the PANs will be made inoperative. It is to be noted that the PANs will be made operative once they are linked to their Aadhar numbers. The government has extended the deadline for PAN-Aadhar linking from June 30, 2020, to March 31, 2021.
March 31, 2021 – Last date to avail of tax benefits under LTC cash voucher scheme
The scheme was introduced in October 2020 by the government for central government employees (later extended to non-government employees like those in the private sector and PSU employees) to incentivize them to use their unclaimed Leave Travel Allowance (LTA) to boost consumer demand.
As per the scheme, employees covered by the scheme must spend three times the amount deemed as LTA fare on goods and services that attract a GST of 12% or more.
March 31, 2021 – Deadline to file the revised/belated returns of income (ITR) for FY 2019-20
Individuals who miss their January 10, 2021 deadline to file their ITRs have until March 31, 2021, to file a belated return with a late fee of Rs 10,000 (for small taxpayers with income up to Rs. 5 lakhs, the late fee does not exceed Rs. 1,000).
Also, assessees who've made errors in their ITRs can revise their returns by March 31, 2021.
March 31, 2021 – Deadline to complete the tax-saving exercise for FY 2020-21
Taxpayers should complete their tax-saving exercise for the financial year 2020-21 by the deadline of March 31, 2021. This is an important deadline because missing it would mean missing out on the opportunity to reduce the tax liability for FY 2020-21.
March 31, 2021 – Last date to make a payment under Vivad se Vishwas Scheme
The last date to make a payment under the Vivad se Vishwas Scheme is March 31, 2021, if you have filed a declaration for a dispute resolution on or before the January 31, 2021 deadline.
March 31, 2021 – Last date to avail the benefit under the Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme
The government introduced this scheme under the Atmanirbhar Bharat Package on May 13, 2020, to provide full-guarantee and collateral-free loans to individuals and entities for business purposes. The last date to avail of the benefit under the said scheme is March 31, 2021.
March 31, 2021 – Last date to avail of the benefit under Special Festival Advance Scheme
Government employees have been afforded an interest-free advance of Rs. 10,000, in addition to the LTC Cash Voucher Scheme. The advance will be recoverable in 10 instalments (maximum). The last day to avail of this benefit is March 31, 2021.
March 31, 2021 – Last date to avail benefit of credit subsidy under PMAY
The Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojna (PMAY) provides credit-linked subsidies subject to certain terms and conditions on the home loans to middle-income people having an annual income between Rs. 6 lakhs and Rs. 18 lakhs. The last day to avail of this benefit is March 31, 2021.
June 30, 2021 – Last date to avail tax sop for new home buyers
New home buyers making a primary purchase of a residential house for a value up to Rs. 2 crores, will benefit from availing a tax sop as announced by the government. With the announcement, the government hiked the acceptable differential (for income tax purposes) between the sale/purchase contract value and the circle rate from 10% to 20%. The last day to avail of this benefit is June 30, 2021.
July 31, 2021 - Deadline to file the income tax return (ITR) for FY 2020-21
The deadline to file ITR for individual taxpayers is July 31, 2021. With effect from FY 2020-21, the taxpayers can choose the new concessional tax regime over the existing tax system. Taxpayers choosing the new regime will have to fill an additional form while filing their ITR.
As a wise man once said, ‘deadlines just aren’t real until they’re staring right in your face!’ Therefore, it is advisable to keep these important deadlines in mind and comply with their requirements so as to avoid any hassles and penalties.
Stay positive, test negative