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Budget 2021 – Tax Audit Limit Raised To ₹ 10 Crores

Updated: Feb 7

Budget 2021 – Tax Audit Limit Raised To ₹ 10 Crores
Budget 2021 – Tax Audit Limit Raised To ₹ 10 Crores

Small businesses which are not registered under Companies Act, do not have a statutory audit. However, if their annual gross turnover exceeds ₹ 1 crore, they are expected to get their accounts audited as per Income-tax Act. Such audit is to be done by a Chartered Accountant (CA) who is expected to submit a report of such audit in form 3CD before a prescribed date every year. The professionals also need to get their books of account audited, however, the turnover limit for such audit for them is ₹50,00,000/-.


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The turnover limit for the audit of small businesses was revised in the last Budget – 2020 to ₹5,00,00,000/- from ₹1,00,00,000/-. However, the condition placed was that about 95% of the receipts and payments should have been made in non – cash transactions (digital or banking transactions). This benefit is granted to small businesses in order to promote digital transactions and hence the digital economy.

In Budget – 2021, this limit of ₹5,00,00,000/- is enhanced to ₹10,00,00,000/-. However, out of total transactions, cash transactions are permitted only up to 5% of the receipts and payments and 95% of the receipts and payments must be in non – cash transactions like banking and digital transactions. This measure in the Budget – 2021 is going to ease a lot of compliance burden from the shoulders of small businesses.

Understanding the Revised Tax Audit Threshold

The authorities have revised the turnover threshold limit for tax audits from 5 crores to 10 crores. This indicates that an enterprise with an annual turnover of as much as ₹10 crores will no longer require a mandatory tax audit. Most straightforward groups exceeding this restriction will need tax audits for the assessment year 2021-22 onward.

Union Budget 2021 raised the mandatory tax audit limit for businesses from ₹5 crores to ₹10 crores. This exempts agencies with a turnover of up to ₹10 crores from obligatory audits, easing compliance and reducing costs. The revised threshold applies for assessments from 2021-22 onwards.

The revised ₹10 crore tax audit turnover limit will advantage small organisations and reduce compliance expenses for many SMEs in trading, manufacturing, and services domains. However, specific categories, like agencies with excessive international or interstate transactions, may additionally need tax audits. The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) has clarified that different situations for tax audits will continue to apply.

Implications for Small and Medium firms (SMEs)

The boom inside the tax audit turnover restriction from ₹5 crores to ₹10 crores is top-notch information for small and rapidly developing organizations, specifically within the SME region. Many small groups, referred to as MSMEs, fall within the turnover range of ₹5 crores to ₹10 crores. Those companies won't need mandatory tax audits, which is a relief.

This variation is anticipated to lower compliance charges and inspire growth in buying and selling, manufacturing, logistics, and offerings for small companies. SME proprietors can use the cash saved from audit prices to make their corporations even higher. The exemption additionally allows SME leaders to focus extra on their significant operations instead of spending too much time on compliance.

However, in regular internal bookkeeping audits, SMEs must maintain correct facts and behaviour. As their turnover grows beyond ₹10 crore within their destiny, they should undergo tax audits again. So, SMES must establish accurate monetary reporting systems for upcoming audits and compliance necessities. Commonly, this growth in limits is correct information for SMEs convalescing from the effect of the pandemic on their finances.

What are SMEs?

Small and medium-sized organisations (SMEs) are businesses with annual turnover falling between the thresholds. In India, the MSME Ministry defines microfirms as those with investments up to ₹1 crore and turnover below ₹5 crore. Small establishments have higher funding limits, as much as ₹10 crores, with turnover beneath ₹50 crores. Medium enterprises have funding as much as ₹50 crores with turnover below ₹250 crores.

Past these definitions, SMEs' percentages share common traits, such as unbiased ownership, restricted marketplace proportion, leaning heavily toward home markets, flexibility in operations, and a relatively smaller group of workers than large businesses.

The SME quarter is the bedrock of India's business growth, contributing nearly 30% in the direction of GDP through manufacturing, services, and change while creating considerable employment possibilities. India houses over 6.3 crore SME gadgets, which more than eleven crore people use. Nurturing SME growth can catalyse speedy growth of home production, self-reliance, equitably balanced local development, and task creation at scale to tap India's demographic dividend. Accordingly, authorities' regulations and budgets aim to support SMEs through financing schemes, skilling projects, and compliance-easing measures.

Impact on Compliance and Reporting Requirements

The revised turnover threshold of ₹10 crore for tax audits is predicted to lessen compliance burdens for smaller agencies noticeably. But it must now not dilute financial reporting standards for firms needing tax audits or aspiring for a boom.

Audited financial statements are a benchmark of transparency and accuracy of records for stakeholders like traders, banks, and regulatory groups. As SMEs grow closer to the ₹10 crore turnover mark, they ought to proactively undertake auditing of excellent practices in their monetary reporting mechanisms. Automating accounting processes, digitizing invoices and payments, and retaining clear documentation trails will assist in reducing future audit guidance overheads.

For small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), navigating the complexities of tax compliance can be daunting. However, by implementing specific proactive measures, SMEs can streamline the formal tax audit process and minimize potential challenges.

Assessing monetary Preparedness post-finances 2021

The Union budget 2021 has undertaken several measures to revive sectors hit by the pandemic and stimulate the call for revival across industries. For SMEs, noteworthy impacts consist of revised thresholds for mandatory tax audits, injection of funds into healthcare and infrastructure, new custom duty systems, fiscal incentives for promoting domestic production, and 'Make in India,' amongst others.

In these surroundings, SME leadership needs to reassess economic priorities and realign them with emerging possibilities or value implications. If new policies make it more expensive to usher in materials from other countries, groups would likely reflect on consideration of getting substances from inside our use or alter the prices of the things they sell. When the taxes organizations pay change, small enterprise cash managers must be clever and plan for those adjustments a year before making huge plans.

Banks and NBFCs are extra willing to lend post-recapitalization, allowing SMEs room to negotiate favorable financing fees for running capital or enhancements. Sectors like actual property and construction are gaining momentum and present opportunities for SMEs in associated production and services with enough right of entry to money. The overall price range instills optimism, supplying area-precise cues and incentives for SMEs navigating post-pandemic recuperation. Economic readiness and staying abreast of reforms are essential for seizing potential opportunities.

Taxation Benefits for Emerging Start-ups

The 2021 budget has also mentioned some taxation alleviation measures for the resource growth of rising startups, along with helping small enterprises and MSMEs. Key highlights include extending tax vacation benefits by 12 months for eligible startups and augmenting NOF funding for the Startup India Seed Fund Scheme.

Eligible tech startups incorporated between 2016 and 2021 with a turnover of up to ₹1 hundred crores can now claim tax exemption for three consecutive years out of the extended ten years from incorporation. This goal is to help newly included tech begin uniting the states of America with disruptive enterprise fashions and improvements that require longer gestation durations to completely seize market potential.

In addition, Rs. 1,000 crores will be injected toward enhancing the Startup India Seed Fund Scheme over the subsequent 4 years to lower back early-level startups in preserving expertise and scaling up infrastructure. Increased seed funding and tax holidays ease capital access demanding situations for Indian startups, helping home booms and worldwide scaling. As India solidifies its role as one of the pinnacle global startup hubs, these teenager-centric reforms demonstrate the authorities' commitment to fostering an entrepreneurial lifestyle, nurturing innovation ecosystems, and empowering emerging ventures for economic boom and international competitiveness.

Challenges and Opportunities Post-Increase in Threshold


Maintaining Financial Discipline

To uphold credible debt data, SMEs must beautify the financial field, as tax audits no longer implement outside scrutiny. There may be a risk of complacency and decreased commitment to compliance without this oversight.

Financial Transparency

While the relaxed tax audit burden alleviates compliance pressure for SMEs, achieving financial transparency remains crucial for their growth. 

Long-term planning

The ₹10 crore turnover threshold becomes a pivotal point for SMEs with medium to lengthy-term growth plans. Strategic investments in economic reporting infrastructure are essential for an unbroken transition to obligatory tax audits.


Diverted savings

The exemption permits SMEs to redirect financial savings from audit compliance costs towards accelerating business increases. This could be a treasured opportunity for SMEs to put money into enlargement for the transitional length.

Strategic utilization

Along with other helpful actions like loans without requiring collateral and changes in custom duties, small businesses (SMEs) can use the increase in thе limit to improve profits and promote growth.

Agile Adaptation

Agile SMEs aligned with broader reform tasks, including Make in India and Self-Reliant India, can increase their ability to navigate challenges correctly. At the same time, their turnover exceeds ₹10 crore.

Clarifications on Eligibility and Criteria

Even as the price range has expanded the essential turnover threshold restriction for obligatory tax audits to ₹10 crores, SME owners must know the finer eligibility elements. Tax audits will remain important for positive classes like agencies claiming tax deductions or exemptions below particular sections, even within the turnover threshold.

Furthermore, companies concerned with significant worldwide transactions or availing of positive income tax blessings also require audits, regardless of turnover. 

Professional services firms like chartered accountants, lawyers, doctors, and so forth with annual incomes above ₹50 lakhs can even need audits. The turnover criteria additionally exempts extra companies in trades and production than services domain names, as the restriction is related to 'overall sales' instead of 'gross receipts.' So carrier area firms with sales over ₹10 crores, with income margins below 5%, may nevertheless require tax audits.

For SME owners, at the same time as the expanded threshold benefits most, it's sensible to seek advice from tax experts earlier rather than figure out how to avoid destiny felony troubles. Overlooking the complexities of exemption clauses might be high-priced later. In short, the price range boosts enterprise sentiment and enables SMEs to contribute to India's monetary boom.

Conclusion: Embracing Change and Opportunities

The boom within the tax audit turnover limit of ₹10 crores for SMEs in the 2021 finances gives sizable comfort amid a challenging commercial enterprise landscape. This adjustment emphasizes structural and compliance reforms for small businesses to enhance India's worldwide ease of doing business ranking. However, SMEs must include this change proactively, enhancing financial reporting mechanisms earlier rather than surpassing turnover limits. Consulting professionals on updated tax legal guidelines and assessing economic impacts on expenses or sectoral opportunities is essential. Authorities reforms, like collateral-lost loans, require fostering monetary discipline. The budget underscores SMEs' pivotal position in reaching Atma Nirbhar Bharat, emphasizing the compliance shift from ache factors to business enablers. SMEs must lead by adapting to exchange, realigning priorities, growing jobs, and robustly contributing to the post-pandemic boom.


Q1 Has the 10 crore tax audit cap been raised? 

Yes, in 2021, the turnover threshold restriction for obligatory tax audits has been raised from Rs 5 crore to Rs 10 crore. Corporations with annual turnovers of up to Rs 10 crore will not require a tax audit from AY 2021-22.

Q2 What's the 2021 finances' new tax audit cap? 

The 2021 Union price range has revised the tax audit turnover restriction for companies to Rs 10 crore from the earlier Rs 5 crore. So, companies with turnovers below Rs 10 crore are exempt from obligatory tax audits.

Q3 What are SMEs? 

SMEs, or small and medium enterprises, are independent corporations with annual turnovers between Rs. 5 crores and Rs. 250 crores, primarily based on limits set for manufacturing and offerings sectors.

Q4 What is the 44AD higher limit for 2023-24? 

The higher turnover limit to avail of the presumptive taxation scheme beneath segment 44AD for FY 2023-24 is Rs. 3 crore for general profits calculated at 6% price on turnover. Companies with turnovers of over Rs. 3 crore will now be unable to choose the 44AD scheme.

Q5 What is the maximum possible CA tax audit? 

A CA tax audit can cost between Rs. 25,000 and Rs. 1 lakh. How much you pay depends on how large your business is, how many transactions you have, and how complicated the audit is. If your agency is enormous, the price is even better.

Q6 What's the new audit restriction for income taxes? 

The new tax audit limit introduced in budget 2021 for profits taxes is Rs 10 crore annual turnover. This indicates mandatory tax audits will follow most effectively for corporations exceeding Rs 10 crore in turnover as per segment 44AB.

Q7 What is the fee for failing to submit a tax audit document? 

The penalty for not completing a tax audit and not furnishing a record can be up to 0.5% of turnover or Rs 1.5 lakhs, whichever is lower. Different effects include scrutiny, loss of tax advantages, and discretionary penalties.

Q8 What occurs if the record from the tax audit isn't submitted on time? 

Postponement of submitting tax audit reports past their due date attracts overdue filing expenses up to Rs 1 lakh. The IRS may also trouble a tax word, block ITC, levy better interest and consequences, or even order a first-rate judgment evaluation.

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