In view of the non-intrusive information driven approach for improving tax compliance and effective utilization of information in tax administration, it is important that the returns are filed within the due dates specified in section 139(1). Further, the reduced time limits proposed for making of assessment are also based on pre-requisite that returns are filed on time.
In order to ensure that return is filed within due date, it is pro-posed to insert a new section 234F in the Act to provide that a fee for delay in furnishing of re- turn shall be levied for assessment year 2018-19 and onwards in a case where the return is not filed within the due dates specified for filing of return under sub- section (1) of section 139. The proposed fee structure is as follows:—
(i) a fee of five thousand rupees shall be payable, if the return is furnished after the due date but on or before the 31stday of December of the assessment year;
(ii) a fee of ten thousand rupees shall be payable in any other case.
However, in a case where the total income does not exceed five lakh rupees, it is proposed that the fee amount shall not exceed one thousand rupees.
In view of above, it is proposed to make consequential amendment in section 140A to include that in case of delay in furnishing of return of income, alongwith the tax and interest payable, fee for delay in furnishing of return of income shall also be payable.
It is also proposed to make consequential amendment in sub- section (1) of section 143, to pro-vide that in computation of amount payable or refund due, as the case may be, on account of processing of return under the said sub-section, the fee payable under section 234F shall also be taken into account.
Consequentially, it is also proposed that the provisions of section 271F in respect of penalty for failure to furnish return of income shall not apply in respect of assessment year 2018-19 and onwards.
These amendments will take effect from lst April, 2018 and will, accordingly apply in relation to assessment year 2018-19 and subsequent years.