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  4. March 31: Finish THESE 10 financial tasks before deadline ends, or pay hefty fine

March 31: Finish THESE 10 financial tasks before deadline ends, or pay hefty fine

From filing belated income tax return to linking your PAN and Aadhaar card, March 31 is the last date to do it all to avoid penalties and any other fines.

Vani Mehrotra Written by: Vani Mehrotra @vani_mehrotra New Delhi Updated on: March 31, 2022 7:19 IST
Financial year deadline
Image Source : PTI

10 financial tasks to complete before 31st March deadline ends

Highlights

  • Taxpayers need to file their Income Tax Returns before the March 31st deadline ends
  • Once the ITR is filed, it is equally important to e-verify the same
  • The deadline to link your PAN with Aadhaar is also ending on March 31

The current financial year 2021-22 is ending today (31st March), a date that comes in as a reminder for taxpayers, to fulfill a number of responsibilities. Not just taxpayers, all business owners too must prepare for what all needs to be adhered to in the next fiscal year, i.e. 2022-23. From filing belated income tax return to linking your PAN and Aadhaar card, March 31 is the last date to do it all to avoid penalties and any other fines. 

Here's a quick reminder on what all needs to be completed before today evening.

1. Income Tax Return (ITR): If you are a salaried taxpayer and have still not filed your Income Tax Return for the financial year 2020-21, you are very likely to face a penalty, which is Rs 5,000 under Section 234F of the Income Tax Act. However, if your total income is below Rs 5 lakh, then you have to pay Rs 1,000. The rule is applicable to all taxpayers and the penalty must be paid even if you are filing for a non-taxable amount. In addition, the income tax department can also charge you a penalty of 50 per cent of tax payable and you could, in extreme cases, face a jail term of three years. Since the government has amended the law related to TDS deduction, failing to file ITR before the deadline will also force you to pay higher TDS, TCS from April 1, 2022, in case the total TDS, TCS was Rs 50,000 or more in FY 2020-21. 

2. E-verify ITR: Mere filing the ITR is not enough, you need to e-verify the same before the deadline (March 31) ends. The Income Tax department will consider the income tax returns valid only after it is verified. It should be noted that the Central Board of Direct Taxes or CBDT has given a one-time relaxation to taxpayers to e-verify ITR, which cannot be done once the deadline is over. 

Here's how you can e-verify ITR 

  • Visit incometax.gov.in/iec/foportal
  • Click on 'e-Verify Return' on the homepage 
  • Enter the required details, i.e. PAN, assessment year, acknowledgement number and your mobile number
  • You can e-verify ITR via Aadhar OTP, net-banking, bank account, Demat account, bank ATM, or Digital Signature Certificate (DSC)

3. Aadhaar-PAN link: If you do not get your Aadhaar card linked with your PAN card, you will be penalised (up to Rs 10,000) and your PAN card may also be deactivated. Once your PAN card becomes non-functional, you may not be able to invest in mutual funds, stocks, or open a bank account. If not linked on time, your Demat and trading accounts can get ceased too. You will be liable to pay a fine of up to Rs 1,000 in case you link your Aadhaar and PAN card after the deadline ends 

4. KYC update of bank account: The deadline for bank account KYC update was extended to March 31, 2022, by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). For KYC update, bank account holders need to submit their most recent information -- including their Aadhaar, PAN, address proof, passport and other such information provided by the bank. In case of failure to update KYC, bank account holders are likely to risk their accounts being frozen. 

5. Linking small savings schemes with bank account/post office savings: Account holders need to link their small savings schemes accounts with a post office account to continue receiving interest credit on time. This needs to be done before the 31st March deadline. In a circular, the Department of Post had recently said interest on MIS/SCSS/TD accounts shall be credited only in the account holder’s PO Savings Account or Bank Account from April 2022. 

6. Tax planning: If you are an investor, it's always good to not delay your tax planning until the last minute. March 31 is the deadline to review your tax planning. In case you do not make the tax-saving investments and expenditures by the deadline ends, your tax burden for the fiscal year 2021-22 would be higher. Investors should ensure they have deposited the required amount in tax-advantaged accounts like the Public Provident Fund (PPF). The accounts will become dormant if the minimum amount is not deposited.

7. Advance tax payment: Taxpayers who need to pay advance tax should do so by March 31. It should be noted that any taxpayer who needs to pay Rs 10,000 or more for the year is required to pay advance tax. 

8. Maintaining your PPF account: Protect your PPF account and keep it active by making an annual deposit of Rs 500. If not deposited before March 31st, your PPF account can go dormant. Further, you will be required to make some payment to get the same reactivated and thereafter continue the annual deposit of Rs 500. 

9. Update KYC in PM kisan: In order to receive the next installment before March 31, 2022, eligible farmers must update their KYC using online or offline methods. "eKYC is MANDATORY for PMKISAN Registered Farmers. Pls. click the eKYC option in Farmer Corner for Aadhar based OTP authentication and for Biometric authentication contact nearest CSC centers," the PM Kisan website mentions.

10. Avail PMAY housing subsidy: In case you want to benefit from the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana and receive a subsidy, you must pay attention to the third and final phase of the PMAY programme, which will meet its deadline on March 31, 2022. The Credit Linked Subsidy Scheme (CLSS) was established by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation (MoHUPA) in June 2015 as part of the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY- Urban)-Housing for All project. 

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