Indore: File your Income Tax Returns (ITR) on time, else you will have to shell out a penalty of up to Rs 10,000.

If the income tax return is filed after the due date of assessment year 2017-18, a fine of Rs 5,000 and Rs 10,000 for individual as well as non-audit tax payers, whose annual turnover is less than Rs 2 crore, will be imposed.

Union government, which is determined to bring fiscal and tax compliance discipline among tax payers, have made the provisions of regard in the union budget-217-18. Tax consultants explained that suitable provisions are being changed for tax payers who fall in individual and non-audit category. At present tax payers of both the categories have to file their ITR of previous FY by July 31 and if they don’t have tax liability, then they can file it by March 31 without penalty. But this has been changed from this year. If return is not filed as per Sec 139 (1), concept of late fee is being introduced.

Tax consultants explained that though this year the tax payers can file ITR as per previous rules i.e. due file ITR by July 31, 2017 and even by March 31, 2018 without any penalty. But from FY 2017-18 they will have to file ITR up to due date July 31, 2018.

As per proposed penalty fee structure, Rs 5,000 have to be paid if return is furnished after due date (July 31 from 2018) but on or before December 31 (from 2018) of the assessment year.

However, in a case where the total income does not exceed Rs 5 lakh, the fee amount shall not exceed Rs 1,000.

The move may not be simple for individual as well as non-audit compliance tax payers right now. Presently bodies which issues TDS certificates, usually never issue the certificates at right time. The move will create a panic at end of all three stakeholders i.e. banks, TDS certificate issuing authorities and tax payers.

This may put a load on chartered accountants as either they will have to carry out the job with their existing staff or have to increase it, but this will definitely escalate cost of ITR filing i.e. CA fee.

However, those tax payers (companies for which is audit of accounts’ book are mandatory and their turnover is above Rs 2 crore) has to file ITR as per previous schedule i.e. by September 30.

“Provision of imposing penalty on filing of ITR after due date will be applicable from next FY 2017-18 accordingly Rs 5000 penalty have to be paid before filing of ITR by December 31 (from 2018).”

CA Swapnil Jain, Income Tax Consultant

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