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Friday, February 03, 2017

Mandatory Fine / Fees for Late Filing of Income Tax Return - Budget 2017-18

Two years ago, one was allowed to file income tax returns for previous 2 years. 
The previous year’s budget has reduced this to 1 year. So beginning from 1st April 2017 anyone will be able to file his/her income tax return for one year that is for the previous year ended 31st March, 2017 and that needs to be filed by 31st March 2018.

This year’s Budget 2017 – 2018  has also proposed various changes keeping this aim of early reporting of income by the taxpayers in mind.

Hitherto the Income Tax Act provided that in case you were required to file your income tax return under Section 139(1) and failed to file the same before end of the assessment year, the income tax officer could levy a penalty of Rs. 5,000 for such failure after giving you adequate notice to explain your case.
With amendment of law from the last year’s budget  anyone can not file his/her income tax return beyond the end of the assessment year, the penalty provisions became redundant.

So in order to ensure that the taxpayers file their income tax returns by the due date which is generally 31st July for the average tax payers,  budget 2017-18 has proposed to levy a mandatory fee for such delay in filing of your income tax returns beyond the due dates.

The finance minister Mr. Arun Jaitly has proposed to levy a mandatory fee in case where you are required to file your income tax return under Section 139(1) due to the income being more than the taxable limit before allowing deductions under Chapter VIA and capital gains exemption under Section 10(38) of the income tax act. The amount of fee would depend on the quantum of delay and quantum of your income.

Mandatory fee Delay in Filing of Income Tax returns After Due Dates
In case your income exceeds Rs. 5 lakh in a year anyone will have to pay a fee of Rs. 5,000 if anyone file his/her income tax return beyond 31st July but by 31st December of the assessment year.

For filing the return of income beyond 31t December but by 31st March any one will have to pay a fee of Rs. 10,000

The amount of fee, however, would be restricted to Rs. 1,000 in case anyone’s  taxable income did not exceed Rs. 5 lakhs for the year.

This mandatory fee has to be paid as self assessment before filing of the income tax return without having to wait for any communication from the assessing officer.

It may be interesting to note that the fee is not payable in case anyone’s income does not exceed the basic exemption limit before giving the effect of deduction and exemption as explained above as your are not all at all required to file the return of income but are allowed to file the same.

This will result into additional revenue for the government in the form of fee instead of penalty which did not bring any substantial revenue for the government.

Time limit for revisions of the income tax return filed by you
Prior to the amendment of Section 139 by the Finance Act 2016, you were not allowed to revise your income tax return in case any mistake or error is noticed later on unless the same was filed before the due date applicable in your case. So you could file your income tax return even if you had filed your original return after the due date within a period of one year from the end of the assessment year or completion of the assessment whichever is earlier. 

The finance minister has proposed to curtail the time limit available with your for revising the income tax return by one year and now you are allowed to file your revised return by the end of the year only. 

So practically the time limit for filing and revising your original return remains the same. This will apply for the income tax returns to be filed for the assessment year 2018-2019. So for example anyone file original return for the assessment year 2018-2019 on 31st March 2019 so you can not revise the revise the same beyond 31st March 2019 itself.


These changes proposed will bring the reporting of the income closer to the end of the year than what was happening earlier and will also result into better and timely compliance by the tax payers.
Mandatory Fine / Fees for Late Filing of Income Tax Return - Budget 2017-18 Reviewed by S. Chitra on February 03, 2017 Rating: 5 Two years ago, one was allowed to file income tax returns for previous 2 years.  The previous year’s budget has reduced this to 1 year. S...

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