Due date reminder: 30th September is the due date for filing the audit report for AY 2023- 24.
Individuals who run businesses or earn professional income receive payments and incur expenses on a daily basis. To keep track of such transactions, they are required to maintain “books of accounts” that contain a record of the financials. Now, while reporting such income in the ITR, to ensure that these books of accounts have been maintained and declared correctly, a tax audit is required.
Let’s delve into the what, why, and whos of tax audits under section 44AB of the Income Tax Act.
What is a tax audit?
Simply stated, a tax audit is like an examination of the books of accounts of a business/ profession. It is carried out by a CA (Chartered Accountant), who makes sure that the books of accounts have been kept up to date and includes observations and the necessary information in the tax audit report.
Why is a tax audit required?
A tax audit is required to:
- Verify compliance, accuracy, and certification of financial records.
- Evaluate reported income and deductions for accuracy.
- Identifying and reporting discrepancies or observations to promote compliance and integrity.
Who needs to get a tax audit done?
The applicability of tax audit depends upon the turnover/sales/gross receipts from the business or profession along with a few more conditions. Below are the criteria of tax audit applicability for both business and profession.
Audit applicability for business u/s 44AB
The above criteria are subject to a key consideration, that is,
If a person is not eligible to opt into the presumptive taxation scheme u/s 44AD, they will have to get an audit done. And when is someone not eligible to opt in for the presumptive scheme?
There are two conditions,
- Once opted in, they opted out within 5 years.
- They have not completed 5 years since they opted out.
If any of the above conditions are satisfied, one is not eligible to opt in for the presumptive taxation scheme; hence, a tax audit will be applicable.
Audit applicability for profession u/s 44AB
Another key consideration is that a tax audit is not applicable if the total income is below the basic exemption limit.
What are the consequences of not getting a tax audit done?
If a tax audit is applicable and one fails to get it done, the tax authorities will issue a notice for a defective return. Further, they may impose a penalty of 0.5% of turnover or gross receipts or Rs. 1,50,000 whichever is lower.
What is the due date?
In the case of a tax audit, the due date for filing the audit report is 30th September, and the due date for filing ITR is 31st October of the relevant assessment year. Also, a DSC (Digital Signature Certificate) is required to file the ITR when one is getting a tax audit done.