The Income Tax Department has urged all those tax payers who have not filed their Income Tax Returns, even by the extended deadline of August 5, 2013, to file their returns at the earliest to keep away unavoidable difficulties.
Those who missed the deadline of August 5, 2013 can still file their IT Returns. If all your taxes are paid and there are no refunds to be claimed it is quite straight and simple. The IT return can be filed before March 31, 2014. If the return is not filed by March 31, 2014, there will be a penalty of Rs 5000 that will be levied. Those with tax dues will have to pay late payment fee leviable for every month of delay since April 2013.
All those with total income of Rs 5 lakh and above and all those having foreign assets have to mandatorily file their IT returns online. More than 1.23 crore tax payers filed their returns online this year. Those with total income less than Rs 5 lakh can file their returns off-line.
While Income Tax Department gives taxpayers certain grace period to file their returns, there are certain disadvantages associated with late filing of IT returns. Those who file their returns late, can not modify their returns if there are any mistakes. They also can not carry forward any short term and long term losses.
The Department keeps a close watch on transactions and possesses necessary tools to detect tax evasions. A person defaulting in filing returns of income could be liable for prosecution u/s. 276CC of the Income Tax Act, 1961.
Conviction may result in rigorous imprisonment for a term not less than six months but which may extend to seven years and a fine, if the tax liability which has been evaded exceeds Rs 25 lakhs. In other cases ( tax evasion below Rs.25,00,000/-), a defaulter would be liable for conviction for not less than three months but which may extend to two years and a fine.
It may be recalled that recently, the Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate, New Delhi sentenced a tax payer to six months imprisonment in one assessment year and one year imprisonment in subsequent Assessment Year for repeating the offence of not filing return of income.