Wednesday, March 13, 2024

Section 270AA - Immunity from Penalties and Prosecution

Section 270AA - Immunity from Penalties and Prosecution

1. Eligibility for Immunity

Taxpayers find themselves at a crossroads post-assessment, especially when faced with the implications of under-reported or misreported income. Section 270AA presents an olive branch, allowing for immunity from penalty under Section 270A and from prosecution under Sections 276C or 276CC, provided the taxpayer fulfills certain conditions:

  • Full payment of tax and interest as per the assessment or reassessment order under sections 143(3) or 147.
  • No appeal has been filed against the order, showcasing a willingness to comply post-assessment.

2. Application Timeline

The clock starts ticking once the assessment or reassessment order is received, granting taxpayers a narrow window of one month to apply for immunity using Form No. 68. This tight timeline underscores the importance of swift decision-making and action on the part of the taxpayer.

3. Conditions for Granting Immunity

The Assessing Officer's (AO) hands are tied to specific criteria when it comes to granting immunity:

  • Fulfillment of conditions outlined in Section 270AA(1).
  • Expiry of the appeal filing period under Section 249(2)(b), ensuring that the taxpayer has indeed chosen the path of compliance over contestation.
  • Assurance that the case does not involve misreporting of income as defined under Section 270A(9), emphasizing the scheme's focus on honest mistakes or inadvertent under-reporting.

4. Order by Assessing Officer

Within one month of the application, the AO must make a decision, a process that includes a mandatory hearing opportunity for the taxpayer before any rejection, ensuring a fair assessment of the taxpayer's request for immunity.

5. Finality of Order

An order under Section 270AA(4) seals the fate of the taxpayer's request for immunity, with no room for further appeal or revision. This finality stresses the weight of the decision to apply for immunity and the need for careful consideration.

Section 270A - Penalties for Under-Reporting and Misreporting

Cases of Under-Reported Income

Section 270A addresses the heart of the matter: the act of under-reporting or misreporting income. Various scenarios trigger the applicability of this section, from failing to file returns to discrepancies between declared and assessed incomes.

Penalty Rates

  • For under-reported income, the penalty is a significant 50% of the tax payable on the under-reported sum.
  • Misreporting escalates the penalty to 200%, reflecting the seriousness with which the law views deliberate falsification or manipulation of income.

Exceptions and Exclusions

The law carves out exceptions, recognizing that not all under-reported income stems from an intent to evade taxes. Certain prescribed circumstances, such as income estimated based on turnover, are shielded from being categorized as under-reported, provided specific conditions are met.

Bridging Section 270A and 270AA

The relationship between Sections 270A and 270AA is symbiotic. While Section 270A establishes the grounds for penalizing under-reporting and misreporting, Section 270AA offers a conduit for rectification and relief, contingent upon compliance and rectification of the tax liability. This tandem approach underscores a balanced legal framework that penalizes non-compliance but also rewards rectification efforts.

Navigating Compliance and Immunity

Assessing Officer's Discretion

The grant of immunity is not automatic but hinges on the AO's discretion, necessitating a convincing demonstration of compliance and good faith by the taxpayer.

Documentation and Timelines

Precision in documentation and adherence to timelines is paramount for taxpayers seeking immunity, underscoring the procedural nature of this relief mechanism.

Legal and Financial Planning

Taxpayers must weigh the legal and financial implications of applying for immunity, considering the finality of the order under Section 270AA and its potential impact on their broader tax strategy.


The interplay between Sections 270A and 270AA of the Income Tax Act, 1961, illustrates a sophisticated approach to tax compliance, balancing the imperative to penalize non-compliance with the opportunity for taxpayers to amend their ways and seek relief from penalties. This structure emphasizes the importance of voluntary compliance, prompt rectification of discrepancies, and strategic engagement with the legal provisions to navigate the complexities of tax law effectively. 


Form of application under section 270AA(2) of the Income-tax Act, 1961



First Name



Last Name or Name of


Permanent Account Number or

Aadhaar Number


Flat/Door/Block No.

Name of

Premises/Building/ Village

Road/Street/Post Office







Pin Code

Phone No. with STD

code/ obile No.




Details of orders and payments


Assessment Year




Section under which assessment/reassessment* order is passed




Date of the assessment/reassessment* order




Date of service of the assessment/reassessment* order




Amount of income assessed as per the assessment/reassessment

* order



Tax and interest payable as per notice of demand (in Rs.)




Due date for payment as per notice of demand




Details of amounts paid




Sl. No.

BSR Code

Date of Deposit


Serial Nu Chall

mber of





















































































Form of verification

I,  ..................................................................... son/daughter* of  .............................................. do hereby declare that what is stated above is true to the best of my information and belief. I further declare that no appeal has been filed in respect of the order mentioned in column 2 above. I also undertake that no appeal shall be filed in respect of the said order before the expiry of the period specified in section 270AA(4) of the Income-tax Act, 1961. I declare that I am making this application in my capacity as ............................................ and I am also competent to file this application and verify it.



Place                                                                             Signature



Date                                                                               Seal

(wherever applicable)

*Strike off whichever is not applicable.