Due to extra load on the e-filing website, several taxpayers could not file their returns. This made the finance ministry to extend the last date for filing I-T returns to 5th August
The finance ministry has extended the due date for filing income tax (I-T) returns for assessment year 2013-14 (FY2012-13) to 5th August from 31st July. This means, you can file your I-T returns for FY2012-13 until 5th August.
The Ministry, in a notification said, "Due to large number of taxpayers accessing e-filing website on due date of filing, some cases of taxpayers not being able to access the e-filing portal have been reported. These problems are primarily due to network constrains of the local internet service providers (ISPs). However, as a measure of taxpayers’ convenience, it has been decided to extend the due date of filing of returns to 5 August, 2013 from 31 July 2013."
Earlier, the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) made it e-fling mandatory for an individual or a Hindu Undivided Family (HUF) if his or its total income exceeds Rs5 lakh. Till last year, the same was mandatory for individuals having salaried income of more than Rs10 lakh.
According to finance ministry, this year there is an unprecedented surge in number of returns being filed online. As of 30th July, 92.03 lakh taxpayers have filed their I-T returns online. This is 46.8% higher than the online returns filed during same period last year.
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Parents want to give their children the best of everything especially education. Children, on the other hand, want everything without pausing to think what sacrifices their parents have to make to give them all that they desire!
In an induction program for fresh batch of MBA students I asked them if they had talked about the cost of this course for two years. A day student would need roughly Rs4 lakh including fees; while a hostelite would end up spending at least Rs6 lakh in a city like Pune.
Most responded by saying that they had not discussed this with parents at all; some said they had-the parents had assured them that they have the money to finance them. I then asked them how many of them had taken an education loan to cover the fees-the response was huge. The very few, who had worked in the past, were going to pay for the course from their own savings!
Most students have an attitude that it is their parents’ responsibility to pay for their higher studies, which is much more expensive than graduation. Fresh engineers, whose parents have already spent over a lakh per year as engineering fees, come to business schools instead of joining jobs and spending on their post graduation on their own.
I asked them why they had not worked after engineering and earned and saved and then join MBA. I did not get any specific answer. While I got a number of strange replies including, “I did not actually like engineering but somehow completed it!” and “I did not get campus placement so decided to pursue MBA!” or “I want to finish my education before taking a job”.
This shows complete lack of concern for parents and I am sure parents of such children must have sacrificed a lot for paying for their children’s education. The fault doesn’t lie completely with children- parents too are to be blamed. They probably feel they do all this to fulfill the aspirations of their children. It is important for parents to make their children realize the amount of hardships they have undergone to educate them. Many spend their retirement funds and are left without enough money for a comfortably post retirement period. After spending all the money and energy of building children’s lives, one hears horror stories of how children refuse to look after the same parents later on! Parents must clearly tell their children the amount they can afford to spend on education, marriage and career building. They must ask the children to partially finance their education by taking education loan that they must repay once they start earning!!
Today, education loans are available more easily than before. I have observed that children from well to do families who get into so called ‘prestigious colleges’ take education loans! This could be because the IT returns filed by their parents do not show the real income and hence taking a loan is a camouflage! Also, some do this to get tax breaks for these loans.
I have come across two cases of girls who took loans because they wanted to study abroad and promised their parents and they would repay loans on their own. It is a matter of pride for the parents that both these girls are actually doing this. We need to have more with this spirit.
The psychology of parents works this way- they think they do not want their children to suffer the way they did as kids. They aim at providing everything to their children that they lacked in their own childhood days. To an extent this is fine but parents should realize that they cannot indulge in spending money when you actually do not have it! The fact is that today’s youngsters are demanding and getting much more than the previous generation and still they are unhappy and cribbing all the time!!
It is high time the parents discussed money matters frankly with their children. My experience says that children understand even at a young age, if explained properly. My son, when 5-6 years old, once asked me why we did not have a VCR at our home. I honestly told him that I cannot afford it and that I have no money to buy one! He said get the money from the bank. I then explained to him-one has to first put money in the bank and then only, one can withdraw it. I was glad that he understood and never mentioned the VCR again! This is what convinced me that children can understand.
The children we are talking about here are much older and it is a shame that they show no concern about money but expect it as a right.
I urge parents and children to please wake up and look at reality. As things stand and as they are likely to pan out in the next few years, it is clear that even after spending so much money, getting a well-paying job isn’t guaranteed-the pay back is going to be long drawn. You must first find out if you can afford the education you plan to give to your children and the return that you expect from this investment. Learn to say no when you know you cannot afford something that your children want and understand that there is nothing wrong in asking your children to either self finance their higher education or make them take a loan for partial expenses-you will still finance food, travel, phone, internet and other expenses!
Do not give a damn to what people will say! You should be proud of your children for having the decency to self-finance their education or taking a loan and the responsibility of repaying it! At least you won’t be left penniless for days when these very children show you the door.
(Prof Anil Agashe teaches at Symbiosis and other management schools in Pune).
High cost of education is eating away the savings of most parents and the cost of raising a child does not become any less expensive in any phase of their lives. Here are our findings of a nationwide survey of 1,712 middle-to-upper class parents. They filled out specific segments pertaining to the age-group of their children-up to four years, five to 16 and 17 to 21 in what is probably the first ever survey of its kind
Read Real Cost of Parenting, our cover story.
Around 55% of our sample provided their average annual household income figures. Only 23.9% of these reported an annual household income of below Rs5 lakh; 28.6% were in the Rs5 lakh-Rs10 lakh bracket, another 33.3% earned between Rs10-Rs25 lakh, while as many as 14.3% earned over Rs25 lakh. It indicates that the respondents are mainly upper-income households with above-average awareness about sound financial products and investment choices as well as prudent borrowing habits.
The Baby Years (up to four years)
Starting with maternity, there is never a less expensive phase in a child’s life. In the early years, it is the cost of immunisation, minor illnesses and for middle-class parents, things like diapers, baby food, toys, childcare and birthday celebrations. But one in three respondents had not budgeted for the increase in monthly expenditure on the child.
Estimates of the cost of raising one child to the age of four years vary from 10% of the household income to as high as 25%. As many as 84% of Moneylife survey respondents felt that up to 10% of monthly family salary went towards monthly caretaker/crèche expenses for one child.
Over half the parents were paying off a home loan (52.3%) while 37.8% did not have a mortgage. Only 44.5% of parents have even a basic life insurance.
The School Years (5-16)
As children grow up, 94% of the parents listed children’s education and hobbies as their biggest concern. Clothes, entertainment (vacations, gizmos, pocket money), food, healthcare and housing followed—in that order. Almost one in five respondents has paid 25%-50% of their monthly income towards school entrance fee for each child.
Worries about the high cost of education makes parents in this group easy targets for selling child insurance plans. This set of parents say that they are already saving for higher education (90% list it as their first priority) followed by marriage expenses (50%) and then healthcare (20%). Interestingly, Indian parents do not see their expenses ending with educating their children. Some parents believe it is their duty to set up their children in business, purchase property for them or ensure a decent inheritance.
Depending on their income as well as the size of the family, parents estimate the cost of raising one child at 10% to 25% of household income. Only four out of 10 respondents are confident of having enough funds to pay the fees of a professional course for their child after the 12th class. But 74% of parents said that they would fund their child’s education through savings.
The preferred savings instruments for their own retirement planning are interesting. Over half (54%) prefer public provident fund and employee provident funds. About 50% claim they invest in equity mutual funds, 46% say its property.
The number of parents paying off a mortgage dropped significantly (to 43%). The good news is that 46% of parents did not have any loan and were probably saving the maximum in this segment. Only 49.6% of parents have even a basic life insurance.
The Higher Education Years (17-21)
These are the years when costs really spiral, on all fronts. Here again, 94% of parents listed education and hobbies as the biggest expense.
Costs of private coaching, hobbies, mobiles, gadgets and entertainment (holidays with friends, eating out, movies and hobbies) rise rapidly and it is the time when poor financial planning of earlier years begins to be felt.
Over 45% of our respondents think that they should have planned better for children’s expenses, while 57% of the respondents are worried that their financial responsibilities may not be over even after a child turns 21. A scary 38% of the respondents said that they are tapping into funds they had saved for their own retirement years to pay for the professional education of their children.
Only 8% of the parents had their child take an education loan to pay for their professional courses. This underlines the image of Indian parents being willing to sacrifice almost everything for their children.
A good 57.8% of parents have no mortgage, but as many as 30% were still paying off home loans, in addition to meeting the high cost of education. Only 50.4% of parents have even a basic life insurance.