Is relief from Fees u/s 234F available?
31st of August 2018 is the last date for filing Income Tax Return u/s 139(1) of Assessment year 2018-19 for assesses who are not liable to audit under Income Tax Act or any other law for the time being in force and working partners in the partnership firm liable to audit. What will be the implications if the return is not filled?
If the return is not file in time Interest u/s 234A will be levied on the Tax amount. Over and above this “LATE FILING FEES” u/S 234F will also be chargeable. This is the latest provision applicable from Assessment year 2018-19. The provision reads as follows:
“Without prejudice to the provisions of this Act, 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 the 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.]”
The fees of Rs. 5000 or Rs. 10000 will be levied based on the limits of dates and income defined above. Most of the time it is presumed that, The Income Tax Department provides relaxation from the fees, penalties, fines, etc. by giving the reasonable opportunity of being heard. If the assessing officer finds that it was a genuine hardship on the assessee to complete the procedure he may give him the relief. This doctrine of giving the opportunity of being heard is given as a law of “Natural Justice”. Are assesses eligible for this opportunity on late filing of their Income Tax Return.
The fees of the above mentioned section is mandatory in nature. No authority over India has the Power to provide relief from the levy of fees u/s 234F.
It is assesses responsibility to Self Assess his tax liability along with the interest u/s 234A/B/C and fees u/s 234F and pay to the government u/s 140A. If the assessee fails to do the same he will be issued notice as generated by Central Processing Cell, Bengaluru.
So it is advised to take the last opportunity and file the Income Tax Return by today and save the fees u/s 234F and interest u/s 234A as there is no opportunity of being heard is given to assessee nor the principal of natural justice.