Direct Tax professionals had urged the FM to extend the last date for filing tax audit report, income tax returns for audit cases.
According to the Income Tax Department, over 3.82 crore Income Tax Returns for AY 2020-21 have been filed till 22nd December, 2020.
ITR Filing 2020 Last Date: Good news for taxpayers. The last date to file income tax return (ITR) for the financial year 2019-2020 (FY20) has again been extended. Now, individuals may file the ITR till January 10, 2021. The last date for filing ITR for the assessment year 2020-21 was July 31, 2020 but was later on extended till November 30 and again to December 31, 2020. However, amidst the pandemic situation in the country, the government has now extended the last date till January 10, 2021.
In view of the continued challenges faced by taxpayers in meeting statutory compliances due to outbreak of COVID-19, the government has further extended the dates for various compliances. The due date for furnishing of Income Tax Returns for the other taxpayers [for whom the due date (i.e. before the extension by the said notification) as per the Act was July 31, 2020] has been extended to January 10, 2021.
The due date for furnishing of ITRs for the taxpayers (including their partners) who are required to get their accounts audited [for whom the due date as per the I-T Act is October 31, 2020] has been extended from January 31, 2021, to February 15, 2021.
Also, the due date for furnishing of ITRs for the taxpayers who are required to furnish a report in respect of international/specified domestic transactions has been extended to February 15, 2021.
“The suspense around the extension of due dates for filing ITRs for non-corporate, non-auditable taxpayers and for filing Audit reports under Income tax provisions is finally ended on penultimate day, giving marginal relief to taxpayers, still struggling to comply with the timeline. The last-minute extension has ensured that maximum ITRs/ Audit reports are already filed, while only the last-minute filers are given some additional time for filing,” says Shailesh Kumar, Partner, Nangia & Co LLP.
“One must note that the interest clock continues and taxpayers waiting to file as per further extended timeline will need to pay additional 1-month interest (except small taxpayers having self-assessment tax liability up to Rs1 lakh). Thus, if everything is final, taxpayers should go ahead with filing, instead of availing the extended period,” adds Kumar.
It may be noted that Direct Tax professionals in the country had urged Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to extend the last date for filing tax audit report, income tax returns for audit cases. News agency PTI had reported that the Direct Taxes Professionals Association (DTPA) has urged Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to extend the last date of furnishing of tax audit report under section 44AB to February 28. They have urged the Finance Minister that the due date of filing of income tax returns of Assessment Year 2020-21 in audit cases should be extended to March 31, 2021. The professionals have said that due to the Corona pandemic, normalcy in operations is yet to set in.
“The extension of the timeline will provide respite to the people who are struggling to collate the necessary information and file their tax return. This provides additional time for taxpayers to file their return within the extended due date and avoid the penalty attached with a belated return,” says Aarti Raote, Partner, Deloitte.
Earlier, for the FY 2019-20, the government had also extended the date for making various investment/ payment for claiming deduction under Chapter-VIA-B of the IT Act which includes section 80C (LIC, PPF, NSC etc.), 80D (Mediclaim), 80G (Donations) to 31st July, 2020. Now the investment/ payment can be made upto 31st July, 2020 for claiming the deduction under these sections for FY 2019-20. In the income tax forms, Schedule DI enables taxpayers to claim exemptions on investments they made during the extended period, until June 30, 2020.
Under normal circumstances, the last date to take income tax benefits is till March 31 of the financial year. The government had also extended the last date for the issuance of Form 16 by employers to their employees. In fact, the extension has been given for all TDS ( tax deducted at source) certificates, including Form 16. The CBDT has already notified the Income Tax Return Forms for the assessment year (AY) 2020-21 and are available for e-Filing by downloading either excel or Java utility.