Non-filers, you have a 21-day deadline, says Income Tax Department
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Income Tax Department has noticed that certain taxpayers, with high-value transactions, haven’t filed Income Tax Return (ITR) for Assessment Year 2018-19. They have also shared the details of those non-filers through their twitter handle.  

Non-filers have been directed to calculate their tax obligation for AY 2018-19 and file their ITR or send an explanation for the delay in no more than 21 days. The 21-day window will commence from the date of receiving e-mail or SMS from the Income Tax Department (ITD) regarding non-filing of tax returns.

If the response provided is found reasonable by the department, they will close the matter. However, if an appropriate response is not received within the specified time period, they will initiate proceedings under the Income Tax Act, 1961.

As you are aware, ITR filing is mandatory for people with income more than Rs. 2.5 lakhs, which is the tax exemption limit. The IT Department has taken similar measures in the past, which generated tax revenue of Rs 26,425 crore, as per the statement made by the Finance Minister recently.

The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has a Non-filers Monitoring System (NMS) which seeks to detect and check people who are involved in high-value transactions. The NMS indicates the tax dues of non-filers with complete details of the transactions made like date, the amount due, etc.

The ITD database has information on non-filers from various sources like Tax Deducted at Source (TDS), Statement of Financial Transactions (SFT), Tax Collection at Source (TCS) and overseas remittances, among others.

The department has made the entire process electronic, in an attempt to reduce the compliance cost for non-filers. There is no need to visit any Income Tax Office to submit a response.

Taxpayers can access the particulars of their case from the ‘Compliance portal’ – at incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in. PAN holders can submit their response electronically on the compliance portal and keep the printout of the submitted response as a record.

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