If you do not file your income tax returns or you delay it, then you will face a penalty by the Income Tax Department. Return of income which has not been submitted on or before the due date specified is called belated return.
If you don’t submit a required return of income within the prescribed time limit, you will have to pay interest on tax due.1 Any person who has not filed their tax returns within the time period, can submit return for any previous year at any time before (whichever is earlier):
- The end of the relevant assessment year or
- Completion of the assessment
Penalty Fee or Amount
You can find a detailed list of penalties and punishments for income tax related offences here. Some of the offences are:
Delay in Filing Returns
The fee you will have to pay for a default in submitting return of income is:
- Rs. 5000 if return is submitted on or before 31st December of the assessment year.
- Rs. 10,000 in any other case. However, late filing fee shall not exceed Rs. 1000 if the total income of the taxpayer does not exceed Rs. 5 lakh.2
Non-Payment of Tax / Not filing Tax Returns
If you do not pay taxes or file your income tax returns then you will have to pay interests, penalty and even face prosecution (go to Court). The prosecution can lead to rigorous imprisonment from 3 months to 2 years. In situations where the tax sought to be evaded exceeds Rs. 25,00,000 the punishment could be 6 months to 7 years.3
- Section 139, Income Tax Act, 1961
- Section 234F, Income Tax Act, 1961
- Section 276CC, Income Tax Act, 1961