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Section 234F Late Fees Payable For Default In Furnishing Of Income Tax Return

It is mandatory to note that the payment of income tax and filing of the ITR is two distinct and separate legal obligations under Income Tax. The duty of the taxpayer does not end up just by timely payment of the income tax. In fact, the law of income tax also mandates the taxpayer to file their IT return within the prescribed time limit.

To make sure timely return filing of such income tax returns, the provisions of Income Tax Act -section 234F were recently made effective from 1st April 2018. The provisions of this act deal with the late fees, which is applicable in case of delay in return filing of an income tax return. The said provisions of section 234F we will discuss in this article.

Essential requirement of filing of income tax return-

Income Tax Act- section 139(1) deals with the mandatory filing of the IT return. The following table widely summarizes the return filing requirement-

Category of person        Mandatory return filing requirement
Company            Essentially required to file the IT return without any exemption limit
Firm      Mandatorily required to file an IT return without any exemption limit
Any person other
than a company
or a firm        
Mandatorily required to file the IT return only if exceeds the maximum
amount not chargeable to tax (i.e., only if exceeds the exemption limit)

According to the 7th provision to said section 139(1), in case of any person (other than a company or a firm) is not need to file the return, as per the above criteria, will have to essentially file the return if satisfies any of the these standards-

  • With a banking company or a co-operative bank, the aggregate amount deposited in one or more current accounts during the FY exceeds INR 1 Crores.
  • The aggregate amount of foreign travel expenses incurred, for himself or any other person, during the financial year exceeds INR 2 Lacs.
  • The aggregate amount of electricity expenditure incurred during the FY exceeds INR 1 Lacs.

For the Financial Year 2020-2021 Income Tax return filing due dates (i.e., the Assessment Year 2021-2022)-

For the Financial Year 2020-2021, due dates for filing returns of income is extended vide circular no. 9/2021 dated 20th May 2021. The original due dates and extended due dates are summarized below:–

Particulars         Original due date           Extended due date
Income Tax Return for non-audit cases                         31st July 202130th September 2021
Income Tax Return for audit cases                    31st October 202130th November 2021
Income Tax Return for cases where report under
section 92E is required to be furnished                         
30th November 2021    31st December 2021

What are the late fee provisions as per section 234F of the Income Tax Act?

Provisions of section 234F simply refers that any taxpayer who need to make a return according to the section 139, fails or defaults in making the same will be responsible to pay late fees according to the section 234F.

What is the Amount of late fees payable under section 234F?

The late fee amount payable under section 234F till 31st March 2021 is mention below-

  1. When the return is filed on or before 31st December- INR 5,000 ; or
  2. In any other case- INR 10,000

However, with effect from 1st April 2021, the amount of late fees payable provisions has amended. According to that, the late fees payable as per section 234F from 1st April 2021 is-

  1. Maximum Rs. 1,000 when the total income of the person does not exceed INR 5 Lacs; or
  2. In any other case- INR  5,000