Prosecution Proceedings Under Section 276CC--When can be Invoked
Initiation of prosecution proceedings for non-filing of return of income should be taken as a last resort and only when it is proved that there is guilty mind. The objective of present write up is to highlight this intention of the legislature with help of suitable case law.
1. Non-filing of return may result in prosecution proceedings
Every person, --
(a) being a company or a firm; or
(b) being a person other than a company or a firm, if his total income or the total income of any other person in respect of which he is assessable under this Act during the previous year exceeded the maximum amount which is not chargeable to income-tax,
is required to file return of income on or before the prescribed due date.
If such person fails to file return of income within due date prescribed for shall be liable to pay interest under Section 234A as well as fee under Section 234F. Apart from financial liability prosecution proceedings may also be launched in case of non-filing of return of income. Section 276CC provides for prosecution provision in case of wilful failure in furnishing return of income within due date.
2. Scheme of Section 276CC
As per Section 276CC if a person wilfully fails to furnish in due time the return of fringe benefits which he is required to furnish under sub-section (1) of Section 115WD or by notice given under sub-section (2) of the said section or Section 115WH or the return of income which he is required to furnish under sub-section (1) of Section 139 or by notice given under clause (i) of sub-section (1) of Section 142 or Section 148, or Section 153A he shall be punishable, --