As the deadline for filing Income Tax Returns (ITRs) without penalty expired on July 31, 2023, many individuals may have missed the opportunity to file their returns in time.
If you are one of them, here’s what you need to know:
Penalty for Late ITR Filing
The good news is that you can still file your ITR until December 31, 2023, but with a penalty.
If you file your ITR after the initial deadline, you will be subject to a late fine. The penalty amount varies based on your annual income:
- For individuals with an annual income above Rs 5 lakh: A fine of Rs 5,000 will apply if you file after the July 31 deadline.
- For individuals with an annual income of Rs 5 lakh or less: A fine of Rs 1,000 will apply if you file after the July 31 deadline.
Increased Penalty After December 31, 2023
It’s important to note that if you fail to file your ITR even after December 31, 2023, the penalty amount will double.
This means a fine of Rs 10,000 will apply for late filing.
Interest on Outstanding Tax Liability
In addition to the late filing penalty, if you have any outstanding tax liability, you will also be charged interest on that amount.
The interest will be levied as a penalty for late filing of returns. However, if you have no tax dues, you will not be required to pay this interest solely due to late filing of ITR.
Potential Consequences for Persistent Non-Compliance
It’s crucial to be aware that repeated and intentional delays in filing ITR can have serious consequences.
If you knowingly continue to file late returns even after receiving reminders, the Income Tax Officer can take action through Prosecution Procedures.
Such non-compliance may lead to imprisonment ranging from three months to two years.
In cases where the tax evasion amount exceeds Rs 25 lakh, the punishment can extend from six months to seven years.
Therefore, it’s advisable to file your ITR promptly and comply with tax-related deadlines to avoid penalties and potential legal consequences.
If you have missed the deadline, take advantage of the extended period with a penalty until December 31, 2023, and ensure timely compliance to stay on the right side of the law.