The government doubles the penalty for not meeting the ITR due date this year
The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has extended the deadline for filing the income tax return (ITR) for fiscal year 2019-20 until December 31, beyond the usual date of July 31, due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
According to the rules, people under the age of 60 who earn Rs 250,000 or more annually are required to file an ITR, while the limit for seniors or those between 60 and 80 years is Rs 500,000.
This year, the government has increased the amount of the fine for missing the deadline, imposing a fine of up to Rs 10,000 compared to Rs 5,000 imposed last year. The practice of charging late filing fees under section 234F was introduced in the 2017 Budget and is effective for fiscal year 2017-18 or fiscal year 2018-19 and beyond.
The hefty late filing fee only applies if the taxpayer’s total net income, that is, income after claiming eligible deductions and tax exemptions, exceeds Rs 500,000 in the current financial year. People with taxable income up to Rs 500,000 will have to pay a fine of Rs 1,000 if they file their ITR after December 31st. For people whose taxable income is more than Rs 500,000, the same fine will increase to Rs 10,000.
However, there are exemptions to the previous rule due to the amendments made in the Income Tax Law of 1961, through the 2019 Budget, which stipulates that the following categories of people will not be exempt from the fine
1. Persons who have deposited an amount or aggregates of more than 1 million rupees in one or more bank accounts.
2. Persons who have incurred expenses in excess of Rs 2 lakh due to travel abroad.
3. People who incur additional expenses or expenses of Rs 1 lakh and more due to electricity consumption.
Filing ITR fees also ensures that the interest payable on the tax refund is calculated as of April 1 of the applicable assessment year. In case of late filings, the individual loses a part of the interest.