Section 271AAD: (Penalty for Fake Invoices / False Entry)

Section 271 AAD of Income Tax Act is a new section which was inserted vide finance act 2020 and the same was effected from 1st April 2020.

This section puts the light on false practices such as booking expenditures by use of fake invoice, making the false entry or sometimes omits the entry which is important for computing total income.

People used to do such false practice in order to evade taxes by showing less income and more expenditure. So for such practices Section 271AAD brings a provision of penalty on such persons.

Let’s explain in details:

     

    What is section 271AAD of Income Tax Act?

    Section 271AAD is a new section which applies for penalty on evading the tax through fake invoices/false entry.

    As per this section if during any proceeding under this act it is found that there is:

    • A false entry; or
    • An omission of any entry in the books of accounts maintained by any person and that entry is relevant for computing total income of such person,

    Then in such cases the assessing office may direct such person to pay penalty and that penalty is sum equal to aggregate amount of such false or omitted entry.

    Example:

    Mr. X shows expenditure of Rs. 500000 without having actual invoices then assessing office may direct Mr. X to pay penalty which is sum equal to aggregate amount of such expenditure of Rs. 500000.

    If a person makes a false entry or omission because of the cause of any other person, then the assessing office may also direct such other person to pay the penalty which is sum equal to the aggregate amount of such false or omitted entry.

    Example:

    Mr. X (who maintained books of accounts i.e. assessee) showed fake expenditure of Rs. 500000 because of the cause of Mr. Y then assessing officer may direct Mr. Y also to pay penalty Rs.500000. In this both Mr. X and Mr. Y have to pay a penalty if the assessing officer directs.

    Also Read: Section234F: Penalty for late filing of income tax return


    What is false entry means under section 271AAD?

    For the use of section 271AAD of Income tax Act false entry includes use or intention to use:

    • Forged or falsified documents (eg. false invoice); or
    • Invoices issued by person in respect of supply or receipt of goods or services or both without actually supply or receipt; or
    • Invoices in respect of supply or receipt of goods or services or both to or from a person that does not exist

     

    What is the reason to bring section 271AAD?

    Section 271AAD is a new section which is inserted vide finance act, 2020 (w.e.f. 01-04-2020). The reason to bring this section is “wrong practice of tax evasion through fake invoices/false entry”. People used to book expenditures with fake invoices and show less income. The most of this practice is used to see in goods & services tax (GST) where people make the use of fake invoices to claim input tax credit (ITC).

    Therefore a new section inserted in Income Tax Act for levy of penalty on a person if it is found in the books of accounts maintained by him and there is false entry or any entry omitted.

    Also Read: Section 115ba, 115baa, 115bab of Income Tax Act 1961


    Who is liable to pay a penalty under section 271AAD?

    Following are the persons on whom penalty may be imposed under section 271AAD:

    On person (maintaining books of accounts i.e. assessee) who make the:

    • False entry; or
    • An omission of any entry which is relevant for computing total income of such person

    On any other person who cause person (assessee) to:

    • Make false entry: or
    • Omits or causes to omit entry which is relevant for computing total income of person (assessee).

    Example:

    Mr. X makes a false entry on cause of Mr. Y then both are liable for penalty if the assessing officer directs.

     

    What is the amount of Penalty under section 271AAD?

    Penalty amount is sum equal to aggregate amount of false or omitted entry.

    Like as per our earlier examples:

    Example 1: If Mr. X is booking expenditure of Rs.500000 with fake invoices then the assessing officer may directs Mr. X to pay a sum equal to Rs.500000 as penalty.

    Example 2: If Mr. X is booking expenditure of Rs.500000 with fake invoices on a cause of Mr. Y then assessing officer may direct both Mr. X and Mr. Y to pay the penalty and in this case if penalty occur the each of them have to pay Rs.500000 which is sum equal to aggregate amount of such false or omitted entry.

    Also Read: Section54: Exemptions on capital gain on transfer of residential property


    Point to be noted:

    This section starts with “without prejudice to any other provisions of this act” which means the provision of penalty under section 271AAD will be levied in addition to any other penalty levied in any other section of Income Tax Act.

    Those persons who are not obliged to or not maintaining books of account as stipulated under Income Tax Act then for such person section 271AAD will not apply. For those person separate section of penalty is there i.e. section 271A (for non-maintaining of proper books of accounts).


    Conclusion

    Section 271AAD of Income Tax Act provides strict provision of penalty if a person is evading the tax through fake invoices / false entry. Government is keeping a track on such persons.


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