Due date for filling income tax audit report as required under section 44AB is 30th September of the assessment year for which books of accounts are prepared and getting audited.
This means for financial year 2013-2014, tax audit report filing due date is 30th September 2014. However, for financial year 2013-2014 (i.e. AY 2014-2015), CBDT has extended the due date of filing tax audit report from 30th September 2014 to 30th November 2014. However, there was a confusion on due dates for filing tax audit report and due dates for income tax return.
After such announcement, on 26th September, CBDT has again announced that the due date of filing IT return of the person who is liable for tax audit under section 44AB is extended from 30th September 2014 to 30th November 2014.
In such type of situations, the extended due date will be considered as actual due date of filing instead of 30th September. This means in our case, for assessment year 2014-2015, tax audit report filing due date is 30th November 2014 and IT return filing due date is also 30th November 2014. Please read press release for more clarification
For assessment year 2015-2016 and 2016-2017, due date for filing tax audit report as required under section 44AB is 30th September 2015 and 30th September 2016 respectively.
Penalty for not filling tax audit report before the due date
As per section 271B of IT act, if any person fails to get the accounts audited before the specified due date or fails to furnish tax audit report as required under the aforesaid provisions then the assessing officer may impose penalty.
The amount of penalty shall be 0.5 per cent of the total sales, gross turnover or gross receipts subject to a maximum amount of Rs. 1.5 lakhs. This means which ever is lower out of this can be charged as penalty for not getting accounts audited or for failure to get accounts audited.
Earlier tax audit report was not required to be submitted along with the income tax return. But, now the person, who is liable for tax audit under section 44AB, is required to file the tax audit report electronically along with the income tax return. The entire process is online.
As penalty under section 271B is talking about getting accounts audited or late filing of tax audit report, now onward, if tax audit report is not filed before the due date of 30th September, then penalty may be imposed by assessing officer.
As for assessment year 2014-2015, the due date for filing tax audit report has been extended to 30th November 2014, penalty will be imposed only when tax audit report has not been obtained or filed before the extended due dates of 30th November 2014.
Please remember, you are not required to pay penalty at the time of filing tax audit report. After filing, if assessing officer charge you penalty then you may require to pay or else not required.