Late filing of ITR to attract fine
To ensure that assesses file their income tax return (ITR) on time, finance minister Arun Jaitley has introduced the provision of late fee up to Rs 10,000 in the budget. Till now late ITR submitters, whose numbers were quite significant, were only barred from revising the return. The delay also had no effect on tax refunds.
Jaitley, without making any reference in his speech, has inserted section 234F in the Income Tax Act relating to fee for default in furnishing return of income, which attracts a late of Rs 5,000 if the return is furnished after the due date but on or before December 31 of the assessment year and a fee of Rs 10,000 in any other case. But in cases where total income does not exceed Rs 5 lakh, the fee amount won’t exceed Rs 1,000.
Unless extended, the due date of filing ITR for individuals / HUF / organisations, where audit is not needed, is July 31 of the assessment year and where audit is needed, the due date is September 30.
“A large number of people wait till last date or file returns late. Introduction of the late fee will make them to file ITRs on time,” said CA Ravi Kumar Singh of RGS and Associates. "However, for genuine reasons, like illness, there should be some relaxation," he added.
A penalty of Rs 10,000 has also been introduced if it is found that an accountant or a merchant banker or a registered valuer furnished incorrect information in any report or certificate submitted under any provision of the I-T Act or any rules thereunder.
To encourage use of PAN in financial transactions, Jaitley has doubled the TCS (tax collected at source) rate or 5 per cent, whichever is higher, for a person paying an amount without quoting PAN, on which tax is collectible at source.
Amitava Chakrabarty