ITR filing: This income tax return violation may land you in jail. Details here

Last date for income tax return or ITR filing for AY 2021-22 is 31st March 2022. Those earning individuals who missed to file their ITR by the given due date of 31st December 2021, they can still file their income tax return by the given ITR last date of 31st March 2022. However, ITR filing after the due date will attract penalty depending upon the income tax slab they fall in. However, if a taxpayer, who has income tax liability, fails to file its ITR by the given last date, he or she may have to land in jail for such income tax return violation and the jail sentence can be to the tune of minim 3 years and maximum 7 years.

Speaking on the income tax return last date; Mumbai-based tax and investment experts Balwant Jain said, “Failing to file ITR by given last date, the income tax department may levy penalty of 50 per cent to 200 per cent on taxpayer’s actual income tax outgo, in addition to the tax and interest liability till the date a taxpayer files its ITR in response to the income tax notice from the department,” adding, “The Government of India (GoI) has powers to launch prosecution against the taxpayer who has failed to file ITR by last date despite having income tax liability.”

Explaining the prosecution norms in income tax rules, Balwant Jain went on to add, “The present income tax rules prescribe a minimum sentence of 3 years of imprisonment and a maximum sentence of 7 years of imprisonment. It is not that the department can launch prosecution against you in each and every instance of failure to file the ITR. The income department can launch prosecution only in case the amount of tax sought to be avoided exceeds ₹10,000.”

Speaking on the late fee involved while filing ITR after the due date but before the last date; Pankaj Mathpal, MD & CEO at Optima Money Managers said, “If a taxpayer has missed to file ITR by the given due date of 31st December 2021, it can still file its income tax return by given ITR last date of 31st March 2022 but the taxpayer will have to pay ₹5,000 late fee at the time of ITR filing if its taxable annual income is more than ₹5 lakh. In case, one’s taxable income is less than ₹5 lakh, in that case the late fee would come down to ₹1,000.” He advised taxpayers to file ITR by last date and avoid 50 to 200 per cent penalty on actual income tax outgo or prosecution for 3 to 7 years.