Income Tax Return: Problems in ITR excel utilities mar date extension relief

By: |
December 8, 2020 5:19 PM

With about three weeks left before the due date of filing ITR gets over on December 31, 2020, unless the issue is resolved quickly or the due date is extended further, many taxpayers may miss the deadline.

The compatibility issue would make the filing difficult for many taxpayers as a lot of people use the 2007 or earlier versions of MS Office.

The initial version of the excel utilities of some Income Tax Return (ITR) Forms had some issues due to which the utilities of ITR-2, ITR-3 etc were not opening normally and were showing some error messages.

For example, at the time of opening the excel utility of ITR-2, it was showing the message – “Excel found unreadable content in ‘ITR2_2020_PR2.1.xlsm’. Do you want to recover the contents of this workbook? If you trust the source of this workbook, click Yes.”

While the file was getting closed on clicking ‘No’, it was opening on clicking ‘Yes’, but after removing some parts.

On reporting the matter to the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), the Department acknowledged the problem and said that the assessees using 2007 and prior versions of MS Office would face the issue as the utility was compatible for the last three versions MS Office.

ITR Filing: People with high salary, equity, MF investments may face compatibility issues

The CBDT also said that the concerned persons would try to resolve the issue and a story was published on FE Online in this regard.

Taking cognizance on the issue, the CBDT acted quickly to resolve the compatibility issue and the excel utilities started functioning normally on systems having 2007 and prior versions of MS Office.

FE Online Impact: CBDT swiftly resolves compatibility issues of ITR-2, ITR-3 excel utilities

However, after the later versions of excel utilities of the concerned ITR Forms were uploaded on the Income Tax e-filing site – especially after the due date of filing of return of income for the Assessment Year (AY) 2020-21 was extended further to December 31, 2020 – the issue has cropped up again.

The problem cropped up again, may be due to the compatibility issue with the initial version was probably not kept in mind while upgrading the ITR excel utilities to incorporate the changes.

income tax return, ITR, ITR-2The latest version of ITR-2 with the compatibility issue.

While the extension in due date of filing ITR for the AY 2020-21 has provided some respite to the taxpayers, the compatibility issue would make the filing difficult for many of them as a lot of people use the 2007 or earlier versions of MS Office.

While the matter has been brought to the knowledge of CBDT, but this time there is no response from the Department.

With about three weeks left before the due date of filing ITR gets over on December 31, 2020, unless the issue is resolved quickly or the due date is extended further, many last-minute filers of ITR may miss the deadline.

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