Know the criminal provisions of the Income Tax Act

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The central government has extended the deadline for filing tax returns for YY 2021-22. Previously, the deadline for filing tax returns was December 31, 2021.

Voluntary tax evasion

Section 276C provides penalties for willfully attempting to evade tax, penalty or interest, or underreport income. According to Section 276C, if a person deliberately tries to evade tax, penalties or interest or under-reports his income, he will be punished.

Firstly, with a rigorous term of imprisonment which shall not be less than 6 months but may be up to seven years and with a fine if the tax sought exceeds Rs. 25 lakh (Rs. 1 lakh until 30-6-2012).

Secondly, a rigorous prison sentence which cannot be less than 3 months but which can go up to two years (3 years until 30-6-2012) and a fine in other cases.

Third, when the tax to be evaded exceeds Rs. 25 lakh (Rs. 1 lakh till 30-6-2012), imprisonment could be at least 6 months up to 7 years and with fine .

Fourth, in other cases, imprisonment cannot be less than 3 months, up to 2 years (3 years until 30-6-2012) and with a fine.

Deliberate failure to provide an ITR

Article 276CC provides for a penalty of imprisonment in the event of failure to file the income tax return. Section 276CC is drawn for one of various defaults by the taxpayer.

Failure to file the tax return in accordance with section 139(1). Failure to file the tax return in response to a notice issued under Section 142(1)(i) or Section 148 or Section 153A.

Severe imprisonment which shall not be less than 6 months but may extend up to seven years and with a fine when the tax sought exceeds Rs. 25 lakh (Rs. 1 lakh till 30-6-2012) .

Severe imprisonment which may not be less than 3 months but which may go up to two years (3 years until 30-6-2012) and with a fine in other cases.

The taxpayer may not be prosecuted under this section for failure to provide the tax return provided for in section 139(1) on time, if the return is provided by him before the expiry of the tax year. ; or the tax payable by him (not being a company) on the total income determined on the regular assessment, as reduced by withholding tax and TDS, if any, does not exceed Rs. 3,000 .

It should be noted that effective from the assessment year 2020-21, the Finance Act 2019 (No. 2) has increased the threshold of tax payable from Rs. 3,000 to Rs. 10,000 Moreover, in addition to withholding tax and TDS, self-assessment tax and TCS must also be taken into account when determining the total income tax payable.

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