New Delhi: The last date for filing returns for the assessment year 2019-20 is July 31 and people are expecting an extension in the deadline on the ground of changes brought in the format of tax returns as well as in the tax deducted at source (TDS) certificates issued by employers.

In the case of no extension, one has to pay a hefty penalty if the deadline for filing the income tax return (ITR) is missed.

As per the current deadline, following are the details of the late fee:

Penalty Details
Date of Filing ReturnTotal income Below Rs 5,00,000Total income Above Rs 5,00,000
July 31, 2019Rs 0Rs 0
Between Sep 1, 2019, to Dec 31, 2019Rs 1,000Rs 5,000
Between Jan 1, 2020, to March 31, 2020Rs 1,000Rs 10,000

There is no escape from the penalty on belated return even if the tax is not due.

The department can send a legal notice in case of failing to file the return on time and can even lead to prosecution.

There are provisions of jail term from three months to two years for not filing the return and if the due tax is more than 25 lakh, the jail term can be up to seven years.

The government had also revised the guidelines on ‘Compounding of Offences under Direct Tax Laws, 2019’ that came into effect from June 17 to tighten the screw on tax evaders.

The guidelines issued by the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) have made serious offences under black money and benami laws ‘generally’ non-compoundable.

According to these guidelines, any person or entity would not be able to settle a case of tax evasion just by paying the tax demand, penalty and interest.

The Board had said that compounding is not a matter of right but it can be compounded only by a competent authority on the satisfaction of the eligibility conditions prescribed in these Guidelines.

Various factors will be considered for compounding offences such as the conduct of the person, the nature and magnitude of the offence in the context of the facts and circumstances of each case.