CA Kuldeep Arora
#Proposed Amendments in #Budget 2019 regarding # Penalties under # Income Tax Act
1. Rationalisation of penalty provisions relating to under reported income
Section 270A contains provisions relating to penalty for under reporting and misreporting of income. The existing provisions provide for various situations for the purposes of levy of penalty under this section. However, these provisions do not contain the mechanism for determining under-reporting of income and quantum of penalty to be levied in the case where the person has under-reported income and furnished the return of income for the first time under section 148 of the Act.
In order to provide for manner of computing the quantum of penalty in a case where the person has under-reported income and furnished his return for the first time under section 148, it is proposed to suitably amend the provisions of section 270A. It is proposed to amend clause (b) and clause (e) of the said sub-section (2) so as to provide that where return is furnished for the first time under section 148, a person shall be considered to have under-reported his income, if the income or deemed income assessed is greater than the maximum amount not chargeable to tax.
It is further proposed to amend sub-clause (b) of clause (i) of the said sub-section (3) so as to provide that where return is furnished for the first time under section 148 in the case of a company, firm or local authority, the amount of income assessed, and in any other case, the difference between the amount of income assessed and the maximum amount not chargeable to tax shall be the under reported income.
It is also proposed to amend clause (a) of sub-section (10) of section 270A so as to provide that in a case where return is furnished for the first time under section 148, the tax payable in respect of under-reported income shall be the amount of tax calculated on the under-reported income as increased by the maximum amount not chargeable to tax as if it were the total income.
2. Rationalisation of the provisions of section 276CC
The existing provisions of section 276CC of the Act, inter alia, provide that prosecution proceedings for failure to furnish returns of income against a person shall not proceeded against, for failure to furnish the return of income in due time, if the tax payable by such person, not being a company, on the total income determined on regular assessment does not exceed three thousand rupees. The existing provisions do not provide for taking into account tax collected at source and self-assessment tax for the purposes of determining the tax liability.
Since the intent of said provision has always been to take into account pre-paid taxes, while determining the tax payable, it is proposed to amend the said section so as to make the legislative intention clear and to include the self-assessment tax, if any, paid before the expiry of the assessment year, and tax collected at source for the purpose of determining tax liability. Further, in order to rationalise the existing threshold limit of tax payable under said section, it is further proposed to amend the said section so as to increase the threshold of tax payable from the existing rupees three thousand to rupees ten thousand.