The tax department extended the return filing deadline for individual taxpayers for the financial year 2020-21 (assessment year 2021-22) to September 30, 2021, in light of the COVID-19 second wave. However, many taxpayers are complaining that the income tax portal is levying a late filing fee even when they filed their returns in the past few days. Tax filers are taking the social media route and requesting the income tax department for removing the late-filing fee from the server.
The late filing penalty rules
According to Income tax rules, if a person is required to furnish a return of income but fails to do so within the time prescribed, he or she will have to pay interest on the tax due.
Further, as per section 234F, late-filing fees of Rs 5,000 shall be payable for a belated return. However, the amount of late-filing fees to be paid shall be Rs 1,000, if the total income of the person does not exceed Rs 5 lakh.
Why is this happening?
Most experts are of the view that this is a technical glitch or the income tax department has not updated the tax filing software with the extended deadlines.
What is expected?
According to experts, tax filers should wait till the department updates the software and removes the late-filing fee. “Given that the tax filing software does not allow filing of returns without paying the late filing fee first, we are advising our clients to wait till CBDT resolve the issues,” says Rahul Agarwala, business partner, AGSM advisory.
“Getting refund of late filing fee can be a more tedious task; we have time to file the return, so we should wait,” added Agarwala.
So, if you are planning to file your return, wait till the income tax department updates the software. Also, many tax filers and chartered accountants have been facing various other issues and glitches
while accessing the new IT portal.