“Tax season has begun, Rahul. What are your plans for filing the tax return?”, Shivani asked her colleague.
Rahul was fond of filing belated returns as he couldn’t collect any documents till the due date. Moreover, he would think that when there is nothing terrible in filing a belated return, why should someone hurry to file it before 31st July?
So he didn’t pay any heed to Shivani’s question. Knowing this, Shivani bombarded a section on him, “I hope you know about section 234F.”
Rahul was clueless and thought it was just another section in income tax act. So, he replied, “No. And who cares?”
To this, Shivani mockingly replied, “Yeah. Who cares? Just ₹10,000 fees on filing a belated return. But yeah who cares?”
Listening to this, Rahul went blank for a moment. Did you also get blank just like Rahul?
If you are also habitual of filing belated returns, then read this blog till last to save hard earned ₹10,000.
Delay in filing income tax return is going to be painful now onwards. A new section 234F has been inserted into the income tax act which describes the late fees on account of filing belated returns.
What does the bare act say?
According to Section 234F –
1) Without prejudice to the provisions of this Act, where a person required to furnish a return of income under section 139, fails to do so within the time prescribed in sub-section (1) of the said section, he shall pay, by way of fee, a sum of —
(a) five thousand rupees, if the return is furnished on or before the 31st day of December of the assessment year;
(b) ten thousand rupees in any other case:
Provided that if the total income of the person does not exceed five lakh rupees, the fee payable under this section shall not exceed one thousand rupees.
(2) The provisions of this section shall apply in respect of return of income required to be furnished for the assessment year commencing on or after the 1st day of April 2018.
How does it affect?
If a person files the belated return (return filed after the due date, i.e. 31st July) will have to pay late fees under section 234F.
Since this is a late fee and not a penalty, hence it cannot be waived off by the income tax authorities. The defaulter will have to compulsorily pay the late fees.
What is the quantum of late fees?
- ₹ 5,000 if the return is filed on or before 31st December,
- ₹ 10,000 if the return is filed after 31st December
If the total income (income after all deductions) is ₹ 5,00,000 or less, the late fee is restricted to ₹ 1,000.
What is the solution?
File your income tax return before 31st July to avoid the late fees. Don’t forget – along with 234F, you are also liable to pay interest under section 234 A/ B/ C.
For any other queries, feel free to comment here or reach me on my mail ID or contact number.