Paying income tax and filing income tax returns is the duty of every citizen of India. It is a good practice to maintain and also helps you recover TDS payments. Your taxes are a major source of revenue for the government which it uses for important public programs and services. There are tax reduction and saving provisions that come with a term plan or a life insurance plan which can reduce your eventual payable amount.
With proper planning, one can maintain timely tax payments. However, if not planned on time, you might end up delaying your payments. The interest rates for various types of defaults are listed under Section 234A, Section 234B, and Section 234C of the IT (Income Tax) Act. Let us have a look at all of them in detail.
The interest levied for delay in filing the return of income comes under section 234A of the Income Tax Act. If the taxpayer files their income tax return after the due date specified by the authorities, an interest under this section will be levied.
Let’s assume Mr.X has an outstanding amount of Rs. 2,00,000, which includes his net advance tax plus TDS. Now, instead of November 30, 2020, he files his returns on May 15, 2021. He is hence, late by six months. His interest will thus be:
2,00,000 X 1% X 5 = Rs.10,000
Mr.X will now pay an additional Rs. 10,000. If he continues to not pay his dues even further, an additional interest of 1% will be added every month.
Interest under section 234A is levied at 1% per month or part of a month. Therefore, in case of a delay in filing the return of income, the taxpayer is liable to pay simple interest at 1% per month or part of a month (that is because fraction of a month is considered as full month).
Interest under Section 234A starts right from the date immediately following the due date of filing the income tax return, and ending on the date of furnishing the return of income. In cases where no return has been furnished, the interest starts to build up until the date of completion of the assessment under Section 144.
In case of delay in filing of return, interest shall be liable to pay on the amount of the tax on the total income as determined under sub-section (1) of section 143, and where a regular assessment is made, on the amount of the tax on the total income determined under regular assessment, as reduced by the amount of,—
Example: The tax liability of Person-A for the financial year 2019-20 is amounted to Rs. 8,400. In his case, the due date of filing the return of income is 31st July 2020. He paid a tax of Rs. 8,400 and filed his return on the 5th August 2020. Is Person-A liable to pay interest under section 234A? Yes, Person-A will be liable to pay interest under section 234A for a month at the rate of 1%, on the outstanding tax liability as he has made a delay in filing the return of income.
Interest under section 234B of the Income Tax Act is levied in two cases - 1) If the taxpayer has failed to pay advance tax, which he is liable to pay if his estimated tax liability for the year is Rs. 10,000 or more, or 2) If the advance tax paid by the taxpayer is less than 90% of the assessed tax, which is the amount of tax as calculated under section 143(1) and where regular assessment is made, the tax on the total income determined under such regular assessment.
Let’s take the example of Mr.X again, and assume that he has a payable tax amount of Rs.1,00,000. The TDS calculated is Rs.82,650. This makes the Assessed Tax (1,00,000- 82,650) = Rs.17,350. He should’ve paid a minimum of Rs.15,615 (90% of Rs.17,350) by the 30th of June, 2020. However, let’s assume he had paid only Rs.6,000 on the due date, and the rest on November 15, 2020.
Now, he will pay the following interest.
Rs.15,615 X 1% X 5 months (delay) = Rs.781 (rounded off)
Interest under section 234B is levied at 1% per month or part of a month. Therefore, in case of default in payment of advance tax, the taxpayer is liable to pay simple interest at 1% per month or part of a month (that is because fraction of a month is considered as full month).
Interest under section 234B is levied from the first day of the assessment year (mostly from 1st April) till the date of determination of income under section 143(1) or when a regular assessment is made. In case where the income is increased basis the assessment or re-computation, the interest is levied on the differential amount from the first day of the assessment year till the date of assessment or re-computation.
The taxpayer is liable to pay interest on the amount as follows:
Example: The tax liability of Person-B for the financial year 2019-2020 is Rs. 38,400. He has failed to pay any advance tax till 31st March 2020 and the entire tax was paid at the time of filing the return of income. Is Person-B liable to pay interest under section 234B? Yes, Person-B will be liable to pay interest under section 234B on the outstanding tax liability as his estimated tax liability for the year is more than the prescribed limit of Rs. 10,000 and he has not paid any advance tax.
Interest under section 234C is levied in case of deferment of different installments of advance tax, in following cases:
1) For taxpayers other than those who have opted for presumptive taxation scheme under section 44AD or section 44ADA, interest shall be levied-
2) For taxpayers who have opted for presumptive taxation scheme under section 44AD or section 44ADA, interest shall be levied if advance tax paid on or before 15th day of March is less than 100% of tax due on returned income.
Late payment interest under this Section, too, is applied at the rate of 1% on the outstanding amount of tax, starting from the individual dates listed above, up to the payment date.
This is how interest is calculated for taxpayers who haven’t taken the presumptive payments option.
Interest under section 234C is levied at 1% per month or part of a month. Therefore, in case of for short payment/ non-payment of individual installment(s) of advance tax, the taxpayer is liable to pay simple interest at 1% per month or part of a month (that is because fraction of a month is considered as full month).
Interest under section 234C is levied for a period of 1 month in case of short fall in payment of the last installment and for a period of 3 months in case of short fall in payment of 1st, 2nd and 3rd installments.
The taxpayer shall liable to pay interest on the amount of shortfall of advance tax of respective individual installment, in case of shortfall therein.
It is important to know details about these Sections, but what is more important is keeping track of due dates and making payments on time. For reducing your tax liability, there are always life insurance and other instruments that also add value to your savings.
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Frequently Asked Questions:
There are some interests that are urged upon the taxpayer in case there is a delay/ non-payment of Income tax. The interest penalty is calculated under sections 234A, 234B and 234C of the Income Tax Act.
Advance tax is referred to income tax, which requires to be paid in the same year in which the income has been earned, that is in advance. Advance tax is payable if an individual’s total payable tax in a financial year is exceeds INR 10,000.
Interest Penalty = Outstanding Tax X 1% X Number of month (delayed), where fraction of a month is considered as full month. Example, if you are 4 months 10 days late, the interest will be charged for 5 months.
Assessed tax is the amount of tax as calculated under section 143(1) and where regular assessment is made, the tax on the total income determined under such regular assessment.
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