Steep Penalty Likely for Delay in Filing I-T Returns
Non-filers of income tax returns will now face a steep fine. The government has proposed an amendment to the provisions in the income tax dealing with filing of returns seeking to impose a fine on nonfilers. For people having income below ₹ 5 lakh, filing return after July will attract a fine of ₹ 1,000 and those with income above that would face a fine of ₹ 5,000. “Those who have an income over ₹ 5 lakh and file return after July but till December will face a fine of ₹ 5,000. This fine will be raised to ₹ 10,000 if the return is filed after December,” said revenue secretary Hasmukh Adhia at a postbudget event.
At present there is no fine if the return is filed with a delay within the assessment year, but a penalty of ₹ 5,000 could be imposed if it was after it. But the income department did not aggressively pursue this.
Tax experts say the department now wants to focus on increasing compliance with growing emphasis on data analytics.
“Some tightening was expected as we move to a more tax compliant society. The earlier provision having a penalty of .₹ 5,000 was hardly invoked and failed to act as a deterrent in case where there were no taxes due or there were no losses to be carried forward,” said Amit Maheshwari, partner, Ashok Maheswary & Associates LLP.