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Penalty clause spurs filing of IT returns within deadline

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Income Tax Return

New Delhi, Sep 1 (IANS) A total of Rs 5.42 crore income tax returns (ITRs) were filed till the end of extended August 31 deadline this year showing an improvement of around 71 per cent over returns filed during the same period last year, the government said on Saturday.

Almost 34.95 lakh returns were uploaded on August 31 itself, which was the last day of the extended due date of filing returns, it said.

The present surge, analysts said, could be because of the penalty clause introduced from assessment year (AY) 2018-19 under which filing returns after the August 31 deadline will attract a penalty of up to Rs 10,000.

However, the government said the increase was due to several factors and the penalty clause was only one of them.

The increase “reveals a marked improvement in the level of voluntary compliance of taxpayers which can be attributed to several factors, including the impact of demonetisation, enhanced persuasion and education of taxpayers as also the impending provision of late fee which would be effective on late filing of returns”, an official statement said.

“This is indicative of an India moving steadily towards a more tax-compliant society and reflects the impact of continuous leveraging of technology to improve taxpayer service delivery,” it added.

With the end of the deadline on Aug 31, people can still file their returns after paying a penalty. Return filing till December 31 will attract a penalty of Rs 5,000 which will double in cases of filing done till March 31, 2019. However, if the total income is up to Rs 5 lakh, then the maximum penalty is only Rs 1,000.

Till August 31 last year, the total number of returns filed were 3.17 crore. However, till March 31, 2018, the number rose to 6.85 crore.

The government said a “remarkable increase” was seen in the number of ITRs filed by salaried Individuals (ITR-1 and 2) as also those availing the benefit of the Presumptive Taxation Scheme (ITR-4), under which a small taxpayer can declare income at a prescribed rate and, in turn, is relieved from the job of maintaining of books of account.

“The total number of e-returns of salaried individual taxpayers filed till August increased to 3.37 crore from 2.19 crore returns filed during the corresponding period of 2017, registering an increase of 1.18 crore returns translating into a growth of almost 54 per cent,” the statement said.

“A stupendous growth has been witnessed in the number of returns e-filed by persons availing the benefit of presumptive tax, with 1.17 crore returns having been filed compared to 14.93 lakh returns up to August 31, 2017 registering a massive increase of 681.69 per cent,” it said.

The deadline for filing the returns was extended last month for salaried individuals and those with business or professional income not requiring an audit to August 31 from July 31.

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Equity indices rise, Sensex up 700 points

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Sensex equity Nifty

Mumbai, March 31 (The key Indian equity indices traded on a positive note on Tuesday with the BSE Sensex trading over 700 points higher.

The Sensex was above the 29,000 mark while Nifty50 on the National Stock Exchange was around the 8,500 level.

The gains were in tandem with the rise in Asian markets.

At 10 38 a.m., it was trading at 29,171.89, higher by 731.57 points or 2.57 per cent from the previous close of 28,440.32.

It had opened at 29,294.9 and has so far touched an intra-day high of 29,316.80 and a low of 28,667.36

The Nifty was trading at 8,509.15, higher by 228.05 points, 2.75 per cent.

Among the Sensex stocks, the top gainers so far were Infosys, ONGC, HCL Technologies, ITC and Tata Steel, while, IndusInd Bank, Bajaj Finance, Maruti Suzuki and Bharti Airtel were the only losers.

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Corona positive cases from Nizamuddin religious gathering spread across states, 6 dead in Telangana

More than 2,000 delegates, including from Malaysia, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia and Kyrgyzstan, attended the congregation of Tablighi Jamaat – a Muslim religious organisation – from March 13 to 15.

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Nizammudin

New Delhi, March 31 : A religious congregation of 2000 people at a mosque in Delhi’s Nizamuddin area which has thrown up several corona positive cases is a ticking time bomb as six of the persons who returned to Telangana have died from the virus and positive cases are emerging from at least five regions including J&K, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and the Andaman and Nicobar islands.

The Telangana Chief Minister’s Office said in a tweet, “Six people from Telangana who attended a religious congregation at Markaz in Nizamuddin area of New Delhi from March 13-15 succumbed after they contracted coronavirus. Two died in Gandhi Hospital while one each died in Apollo Hospital, Global Hospital, Nizamabad and Gadwal.”

The state has intensified its efforts to locate all those who returned from the event and the contact trail.

The suspected outbreak was discovered earlier today in Delhi as it emerged that several hid their travel history to foreign countries and a large congregation was held on March 13-5 at a markaz in Nizamuddin. The area was sealed today and hundreds of those present were whisked away to hospitals.

The Jawaharlal Nehru stadium which otherwise holds sporting events is being prepared for a possible large size quarantine centre in case there is a huge outbreak of the virus. Reports are emerging that COVID-19 cases linked to this gathering are being across the country in J&K, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Andaman and Nicobar and Telangana.

As many as 1,400 people continued to stay at the Tabligh-e-Jamaat’s “Markaz” in Delhi’s Nizamuddin West even after the event.

The Telangana Chief Medical Officer confirmed that six people who attended this congregation have died in Telangana after testing positive for coronavirus. A cleric who was there had died after testing positive for coronavirus in Srinagar last week.

More than 2,000 delegates, including from Malaysia, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia and Kyrgyzstan, attended the congregation of Tablighi Jamaat – a Muslim religious organisation – from March 13 to 15.

So now, after the congregation dispersed, those who had gathered have gone in different directions and six have died in Telangana.

This constitutes a mammoth health risk for those present and others who may have come in contact or are even now coming into contact through transit.

Sooner or later, it is feared this may be a form of community transmission as infected people move in different directions.

This is so symptomatic of the virus spread where even once infected person can pass it onto hundreds of others.

Jammu and Kashmir where many of these people returned is already on alert. The district administration in all ten districts have fanned out teams to trace those who might not have disclosed their travel history or contact history with Tabligi Jamaat.

Another worrying strand that has emerged is that the list of those who attended the Tablighi Jamaat event in Nizamuddin from Jammu & Kashmir is huge. Clearly, many of them are not in quarantine yet and the administration and police are making efforts to identity, trace and isolate.

It is learnt that the government has prepared a 50 page list of people from J&K who attended the congregation or came in contact with those. Efforts are being made to identify these people and isolate them.

District magistrates in different districts of Kashmir have issued a strong warning today evening to those who have entered the Valley after March 1 and have not so far revealed their travel history to the authorities.

The order issued today evening by the various district magistrates said all those who entered the Valley after March 1 with travel history abroad, outside the Valley or association with members of the Tabligi group are given the last chance to report to the authorities within two days failing which they could face imprisonment under the provisions of the disaster management act, 2005.

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Infosys Foundation commits Rs 100 crore to fight Covid-19

Half of the donation, Rs 50 crore has been committed to the PM Cares Fund.

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narayana murthy

Bengaluru, March 30 : Infosys Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the software company, On Monday onated Rs 100 crore to fight Covid-19.

“These are unprecedented times that require every section of the society to rise up to the challenge,” said Sudha Murty, Chairperson, Infosys Foundation in a statement.

Half of the donation, Rs 50 crore has been committed to the PM Cares Fund.

The foundation has identified three broad areas to which the balance funds will be directed to: expanding hospitals capacity to treat Covid-19 patients, providing ventilators, test kits and personal protective equipment, and to ensure access to food and nutrition for the underprivileged.

“All our efforts will be targeted towards ensuring that the relief material reaches the people who need it the most, whether it is a patient who cannot afford treatment, our healthcare personnel, or daily-wage workers whose livelihood has been severely impacted,” Murty said.

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