The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has asked the department of Income-tax to begin penalty proceeding against non-filers of the income tax return as well as drop filers who have been inconsistent in filing return between 2013 and 2017.
The data has been retrieved through the department's non-filer monitoring system (NMS) which provided that 20.4 million individuals did not file tax return between 2013 and 2017, and of these 2.5 million are inconsistent filers popularly referred as 'dropped filers'.
The body governing the tax system has given the deadline as June 30 to initiate such penal proceedings against violators.
"We are issuing notices in all the non-filer/dropped filer cases across the country, and proceedings shall be initiated accordingly in the relevant cases," said an assessing officer.
The penalty proceedings are initiated as part of Section 271 F whereas, for the delayed return filing, the action is pursued under Section 234 F.
If an assessee files returns after the due date of August 31 but before December 31, it will attract a penalty of Rs 5,000. For those who file returns after December 31, the penalty rises to Rs 10,000. However, there is an exemption for small taxpayers - if the total income does not exceed Rs 5 lakh per annum, the maximum penalty will be Rs 1,000.
The information concerning the non and dropped filers has been passed on to assessing officer and these will act upon efficiently to widen the tax base of the country.