The financial year 2023-24 ends on March 31, 2024, which is a Sunday, and March 30 is a Saturday and while March 29 is Good Friday, a public holiday. This makes the last week of March a long weekend with three consecutive non-working days. However, considering the pending tax-related work, the Income-tax department has decided to cancel the long weekend for its employees.

“To facilitate completion of pending departmental work, all the Income Tax Offices throughout India shall remain open on 29th, 30th and 31st March 2024,” said the Income-tax department in an order dated March 18, 2024.

Also read: These banks will be open on Sunday, March 31, 2024; full list of RBI’s agency banks

If you are required by income tax law to deduct TDS and you have already done this then you must file challan statement for tax deducted under section 194-IB, or 194-IA by a specified date. According to Tax2Win, a challan-cum-statement in forms 26QB and 26QC is required to be filed if tax is deducted at source (TDS) under sections 194-IA and 194-IB. The deductor is required to provide the challan-cum-statement within 30 days from the last date of the month in which the tax was deducted. This means that if an individual has paid monthly house rent above Rs 50,000 any time in March then under section 194-IB he/she should file a specified challan-cum-statement form by April 30. Further if an individual bought a property worth Rs 50 lakh or above anytime in February then under section 194-IA he/she must file the challan-cum statement in a specified form by March 30.

Moreover March 31 is the deadline to make tax-saving investments like tax saver FD, ELSS, ULIP, PPF, SCSS, NSC and so on.

If you are planning to do some tax-related work at the end of this month you need to check whether the relevant institution will work or not. For instance, the stock market will be closed on this long weekend, however, banks will be open on Saturday, March 30, as it will be the fifth Saturday, which is a working day.

Also read: Now VIP/PMO can help you expedite income tax appeal.

Why will Income Tax Department work on March 29, 30 and 31st

According to Ankit Jain, Partner, Ved Jain & Associates, a CA firm, the rationale behind keeping tax offices open is attributed to the clearance of pending departmental tasks. There are significant deadlines approaching on 31 March 2024 for income tax officials, including:

  • Assessment Completions: The tax department is under the mandate to finalise the assessments for the fiscal year ending 31 March 2022 by this month’s end. Any assessment orders issued post this fiscal year are deemed invalid.
  • Reassessment Notices: There’s also a requirement for the tax department to dispatch notices for the reassessment of incomes that are believed to be underreported. These notices target undeclared incomes exceeding Rs. 50 lakhs for FY 2016-17 and for FY 2019-20 in other scenarios.

“The decision to maintain operational tax offices is geared towards ensuring that all necessary information is collated, assessments finalized, and reassessment notices dispatched within the stipulated deadlines,” says Jain.

File ITR-U by March 31, 2024

Eligible taxpayers need to file an updated income tax return (ITR-U) for AY 2021-22 (FY 2020-21) by March 31, 2024, as this is the last date to do so. ITR-U can be used for under-reporting or misreporting of income problems or any other error in the previously filed ITR. Also, ITR-U can also be filed by an individual who was required to file ITR as per the law but did not do so by the due date.

The deadline to file ITR-U is any time within 24 months from the end of the relevant assessment year. For the financial year 2023-24, a person can file ITR-U for AY 2021-22 and AY 2022-23.

Also read: After being imposed income tax on Rs 1.48 cr payout from surrendered pension policy, NRI filed appeal in ITAT and wins

If an individual does not fix the errors and the tax department catches them on their own, penalties up to 200% of the tax payable can be levied. According to section 270A of the Income-tax Act, 1961 if an individual conceals income and does not report it then effective from the assessment year 2017-18, a penalty up to 200% of the tax may be levied.

However, do note that to file ITR-U, an additional tax up to 50% of the aggregate tax and interest needs to be paid. However, in case ITR-U is submitted after the expiry of the due date of filing of belated or revised return but before completion of a period of 12 months from the end of the relevant assessment year, the additional tax payable shall be 25% of the aggregate of tax and interest payable.

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