In relief for taxpayers, deadline to file ITRs extended

The deadline for filing ITR by taxpayers whose accounts are required to be audited has also been extended till 31 October from the usual 30 September

In relief for taxpayers, deadline to file ITRs extended

NEW DELHI : The last date for individual taxpayers to file income-tax returns (ITRs) for assessment year 2020-21 was extended to 30 November from the usual 31 July, said finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Wednesday. Besides, the due date for filing ITR for accounts required to be audited was extended to 31 October instead of the usual 30 September. The date for assessment of returns expiring on 30 September was extended to 31 December and, those expiring on 31March 2021, to 30 September 2021.

“Due dates for annual filings and compliances have been extended to account for loss of working days due to (the) lockdown," said Amit Maheshwari, tax partner, AKM Global, a consultancy.

Income tax assesses who must get their accounts audited by chartered accountants are governed under Section 44AB of the Income tax Act, 1961. Tax payers with sales exceeding ₹1 crore ( ₹2 crore under Section 44AD) or receipts from a profession exceed ₹50 lakh during a financial year (FY) are required to file the ITR along with an audit report. Besides, assessees covered under Section 44AD, 44AE, 44AF, 44BB or 44BBB (persons claiming that profits and gains from business are lower than the profits and gains computed under these sections) are also required to get their account books audited.

They include professionals such as doctors, engineers, architects, lawyers, interior designers and actors. In case of businesses, including those who trade in derivatives (futures and options) also come under the purview of the Act. The books of accounts that need to get audited are described under Section 44AA and Rule 6F. Remember, there are different penalties under Section 271A of the Act for not maintaining the books of accounts, or not getting them audited by a chartered accountant.

Besides extending the due date for ITR filing, Sitharaman also extended the period of the Vivad Se Vishwas scheme for making payments without additional amounts till 31 December. The scheme was introduced in the Finance Act, 2020, to bring down litigation numbers and for settling tax-related matters, which have been pending for several years.