S. 234E: The late filing of TDS returns by the deductor causes inconvenience to everyone and s. 234E levies a fee to regularize the said late filing. The fee is not in the guise of a tax nor is it onerous. The levy is constitutionally valid
The late submission of TDS statements means the Department is burdened with extra work which is otherwise not required if the TDS statements were furnished within the prescribed time.
This fee is for the payment of the additional burden forced upon the Department.
A person deducting the tax (the deductor), is allowed to file his TDS statement beyond the prescribed time provided he pays the fee as prescribed under section 234E of the Act.
In other words, the late filing of the TDS return/statements is regularised upon payment of the fee as set out in section 234E.
This is nothing but a privilege and a special service to the deductor allowing him to file the TDS return/statements beyond the time prescribed by the Act and/or the Rules.
We therefore cannot agree with the argument of the Petitioners that the fee that is sought to be collected under section 234E of the Act is really nothing but a collection in the guise of a tax