Penalty For Late Filing of Income Tax Return
The government offers a four-month time to its citizens to consolidate complete details of their income and file the income tax returns for every assessment year. The tax filing period for the previous year starts from the 1 April and stretches up to 31 July. The income tax filing process takes a few minutes to file ITR. Paying taxes on time is important, but at the same time filing the return before the due date is equally important or one must be ready to face the consequences. Read more to know about the penalty for late filing of income tax return.
1. Due Date of Filing Income Tax Return
For the Year 2019-20 of assessment, the due for filing tax was August 31, 2019. As per the taxpayers, if the taxes are paid on time they have no other responsibilities. However, if the ITR deadlines are not met, it may result in legal consequences. The government has imposed a late fine as a penalty of late filing of income tax return which has been made effective from the financial year 2017-18.
2. Late Filing Fees Under Section 234F of Income Tax Act
Penalty for late filing of income tax has been made valid from the financial year 2017-18. A maximum of Rs. 10,000/- is applicable as income tax late fee under section 234 F when the assessee fails to file the income tax return by due date i.e. 31 Aug.
In case the return is filed after the due date but before 31 Dec, the penalty on late filing of ITR will be Rs. 5000/-. For returns filed after 31 December, ITR late fee will be charged as Rs. 10000/-. This is a relief provided to the small taxpayers by the Government of India. As per the IT department, the maximum of Rs 1000 will be applicable as the late fee if the total income does not exceed Rs. 5 Lakh.
3. Benefits of Income Tax Return Filing
In addition to being responsible, filing ITR on time brings out the following benefits:
3.1 Easy Loan Approval
Filing an income tax return helps an individual while applying for loans e.g loan of 2 Wheelers, 4-wheelers, house loan, etc.
3.2 Claim Tax Refund
It helps an individual to apply for a refund from the Income Tax Department at the earliest. This creates transparency in the system and speeds up the entire process.
3.3 Income & Address Proof
Again when applying for a loan or Visa, the Income Tax Return receipt acts as an identity proof for the individual.
3.4 Quick Visa Application
Most government embassies require complete documentation of the income tax return for visa processing for the past few years. Any income tax return penalty entered on the documents is not good for such processing.
3.5 Carry Forward losses
If an individual file the income tax return on time every year, it helps to carry forward the losses to subsequent years. This can be taken as an advantage to limits against income in the future.
3.6 Avoid Penalty
The taxation officer will initiate actions for prosecution for a period of three months to a period of two years and with a fine if the individual doesn’t file your ITR. If the tax, an individual has to pay exceeds Rs. 25 lakh, the time could stretch up to seven years.
The above-said procedure shall not be started wherever the net amount of tax doesn’t exceed Rs. 3000. Further, the taxation officer could impose a penalty of up to 50% of the tax due within the case of under-reporting of income.
4. Result of Not Filing Income Tax Return on Time
Apart from the late fee for ITR, there are many other disadvantages of not filing the income tax return on time. In addition penalty for non-filing of income tax return, below are the mentioned disadvantages:
4.1 Losses not set
Losses incurred are not allowed to be carried forward to the subsequent years. The individual set off the losses against profits in the coming years if the income tax is not filed within the due date.
4.2 Interest applied on the late return filing
Other than the late fees for income tax return, 1% interest per month under section 234A, will be charged till the payment is received. In simple terms, it can be stated that ITR cannot be filed until the taxes are filed. But income tax late filing fees can be avoided if the return is filed on time.
4.3 Delayed Refunds
An individual must file the income tax returns on time if he/she wishes to receive the refunds on time.
5. Process to File Income Tax Return
Filing the income tax is very easy. Form 16 can be easily filled from the government portal with a few simple steps.
What Can Be Done After Missing The Due Date of Income Tax Return?
In can the taxpayer fails to file the return within the due date, there is an option to file the belated return. A late return can either be filed at the end of the assessment year or before the beginning of the next year. For the current year 2019-20, the returns can be filed before 31 March 2020, and later it can be filed before 31st august 2019.
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