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Interest Imposed by the IT Department – Section 234A

Updated on :  

08 min read.

The Income Tax Act has laid down due date provisions to comply with the filing of the return of income in every assessment year under Section 139.

Unlike before, if you delay or miss the filing there are some legal repercussions. Not complying with Income Tax regulations often comes with strict consequences like having to pay interest based on Section 234 of the Income Tax Act

Latest Update:
CBDT has issued a circular on 11th January 2022 extending the timelines for certain direct tax compliances for AY 2021-22.
1. ITR filing due date extension:
i)  ITR filing for taxpayers covered under tax audit is extended to 15th March 2022 
ii) ITR filing for transfer pricing cases is extended to 15th March 2022

2. Furnishing audit report:
i) Due date to furnish the audit report as per the Income Tax Act is extended to 15th February 2022
ii) Due date to furnish the audit report for transfer pricing cases is extended to 15th February 2022

Types of Interest

There are 3 different interest under section 234 :

ClearTax will walk you through the interest and the calculations in a  3-part series.

Introduction to Section 234A – Interest for Default in Filing Tax Return

Income Tax Returns for a financial year need to be filed within the time limit prescribed for each year for you. Your failure to file a return within this prescribed time or not file at all will attract this Interest. Use ClearTax to e-File if you haven’t e-Filed yet.

Now, when you do not file your returns or miss the due date, you could be in one of these 3 distinct positions:

  • You have taxes outstanding to be paid to the IT department
  • You are eligible for a tax refund from the IT department
  • Your taxes have been paid on time with no refund expected or taxes payable.

If you fall into buckets “2” or “3”, you do not have to worry too much about late filing of your tax returns as interest may not be applicable in these two scenarios. However, your Assessing Officer may still choose to charge some interest if he thinks it necessary.

If you have unpaid taxes that are outstanding and you have not filed your returns by the due date, you are in for trouble. You will be charged an interest amount of 1% per month or part of the month (simple interest) on the tax amount outstanding. This interest will be calculated from the due date applicable to you for filing of return of the relevant financial year till the date that you actually file your return.

Illustration

Say, your total tax outstanding for F.Y 2018-19 is Rs 1 lakh (net of advance tax paid & TDS if any) and you file your return on the 31st March, 2020  instead of 31st August 2019, the due date to file income tax return for FY 2018-19.

You are now 7  months late in your tax payments. Interest = 100,000 x 1% x 7 = Rs. 7,000 This Rs. 7,000 is over and above the tax amount that you will be paying in any case. If you do not file your return at all, you will have to pay 1% interest till the end of the assessment year i.e. 31st March.

Click here to go to Part II

Related Articles

Interest Imposed by the IT Department on delay of advance tax payment – Section 234B

Interest Imposed by the IT Department on default of advance tax – Section 234C

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