If you are a taxpayer in India, you may be wondering whether you need to undergo a tax audit for the Assessment Year (AY) 2023-24. A tax audit is a systematic examination of your financial records and statements by the Income Tax Department to ensure that you have accurately reported your income and paid the appropriate amount of tax.
A tax audit can help in promoting transparency and reducing tax evasion. However, it can also be a time-consuming and costly process, especially if you fail to comply with the tax audit requirements or provide inaccurate information. Therefore, it is important to understand the tax audit applicability and penalties for AY 2023-24.
In this blog post, we will explain the criteria for tax audit applicability, the due date for filing the tax audit report, and the penalties for non-compliance with tax audits.
Who Needs to Undergo a Tax Audit?
Tax audit applies to certain categories of taxpayers, depending on their nature of income, turnover, and profit. The following are the main categories of taxpayers who need to undergo a tax audit for AY 2023-24:
Businesses: A tax audit is necessary if a company's gross revenue or turnover surpasses Rs. 1 crore. However, if the gross receipts or turnover of a business exceeds Rs. 1 crore, but is less than Rs. 10 crore, and the percentage of cash transactions is less than 5%, then a tax audit is not required. Regardless of the proportion of cash transactions, a business needs to have a tax audit if its gross receipts or turnover surpass Rs. 10 crores.
Professionals: A tax audit is necessary if a professional's gross receipts surpass Rs. 50 lakhs. If a professional is eligible for the presumptive taxation scheme under Section 44ADA, and claims a profit below the prescribed limit, then a tax audit is not required.
Specified Persons: Individuals engaged in specified activities like horse racing, owning racehorses, or earning income from lottery, gambling, etc., may be subjected to a tax audit.
Presumptive Income Scheme: Taxpayers opting for the presumptive income scheme under Section 44AD, 44ADA, or 44AE must undergo a tax audit if their total income exceeds the basic exemption limit, or if they claim a profit below the prescribed limit.
Please be aware that these are the standard requirements for applicability to tax audits. A tax audit might also be necessary in other situations, such as when a taxpayer is engaged in a high-risk business or when the taxpayer is the subject of an ongoing investigation by the tax authorities. Speak with a chartered accountant if you're not sure if you need to have your taxes audited.
What is the Due Date for Filing the Tax Audit Report?
The due date for filing the tax audit report for AY 2023-24 is 30th September 2023. This means that you need to get your accounts audited by a chartered accountant and submit the tax audit report to the Income Tax Department by this date.
However, the government may extend the due date for filing the tax audit report, as it did for the previous assessment year. You should keep an eye on the official notifications and announcements by the Income Tax Department for any changes in the due date.
What are the Penalties for Non-Compliance with Tax Audit?
Failing to comply with the tax audit requirements can result in severe penalties and consequences. The following are some of the penalties for non-compliance with tax audit:
Late Filing of Tax Audit Report: If you file the tax audit report after the due date, you may have to pay a penalty of 0.5% of the total sales, turnover, or gross receipts, or Rs. 1,50,000, whichever is less.
Inaccurate Reporting: If you provide inaccurate or false information in the tax audit report, you may have to pay a penalty of up to 50% of the tax payable on the under-reported income.
Concealment of Income: If you conceal income or furnish false information to evade tax, you may have to pay a penalty of up to 200% of the tax on the concealed income.
Non-Cooperation: If you do not cooperate with the tax authorities during the tax audit process, or obstruct the audit process, you may have to pay a penalty as per the relevant provisions of the Income Tax Act.
Other Penalties: Apart from the above, there may be other penalties for specific violations, such as under-reporting of income from international transactions or not maintaining proper books of accounts.
The penalties for non-compliance with tax audits can be serious and damaging. Therefore, it is advisable to comply with the tax audit requirements and provide accurate and complete information in the tax audit report.
Are you Tax Ready?
Tax audit is a crucial aspect of the Indian taxation system that affects many taxpayers. Understanding the tax audit applicability and penalties for AY 2023-24 can help you avoid any hassles and complications in the future. Make sure you stay compliant!