Opinion Of Eminent Legal Luminaries On Controversial Issues

Fee for default in furnishing return of income -Levy of fees for delayed furnishing return of income.

QUERY: Does levy of fee for delayed filing of return apply to the below taxable income return? Moreover, if income is below taxable after deduction under Chapter VI-A, (for example net income is Rs. 3,90,000/- and deduction under section 80C is Rs. 1,50,000/-), will the late fee be levied in this case? (for A.Y. 2018-19).
ANSWER: Section 234F provides that:
"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 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.
Section 139(1) provides that every person:
a) Being a company for firm; or
b) Being a person other than a company or a firm if his total income or the total income of any other person in respect of which he is assessable under this Act during the previous year exceeded the maximum amount which is not chargeable to tax shall on or before due date furnish a return of income.
So, in this case, a question of levy of fee will not arise as income is below taxable limit and therefore he is not liable to file return of income.
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