Steep Penalty Likely for De­lay in Fil­ing I-T Re­turns

The Economic Times - - Budget: Day After - Our Bu­reau

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.


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