Income tax return filing due date: Will Nirmala Sitharaman extend ITR last date/deadline for tax payers?

Income tax return filing due date: Will Nirmala Sitharaman extend ITR last date/deadline for tax payers?

Income tax return filing due date: Will Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman extend Income Tax Return (ITR) filing last date for tax payers? Direct tax professionals have sought extension for tax audit report, income tax returns for audit cases and time limit for AGMs in the wake of the ongoing pandemic scenario. The Direct Taxes Professionals Association (DTPA) has urged Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman for extension of date of furnishing of tax audit report under section 44AB to February 28 and the due date of filing of income tax returns of assessment year 2020-21 in audit cases to March, 31, 2021.
Due to the corona pandemic normalcy in operations is yet to set in. Even many professionals as well as their staff have suffered infection from COVID-19. Therefore, there is need for extension of dates for furnishing tax audit reports and ITRs, DTPA president N K Goyal said in their recent submission to the government, as per a report in PTI.

“Out of 5.25 crore assessees some 3.75 crore, including individuals have already filed returns. The remaining are mostly firms and corporates where tax audit is required and there is a demand for extension, DTPA chairman (PR and representation committee) Narayan Jain had said. The individual ITR deadline is December 31, he said, as per the report.

Vivad se Vishwas

The professionals body also sought for extension of date for filing declaration under Vivad se Vishwas (VSV) scheme from December 31, 2020 to February 28, 2021. The government had introduced the VSV scheme to settle tax dispute cases of taxpayers in the pandemic period.


On holding AGMs, the former president of Institute of Company Secretaries of India Mamta Binani said, Since many corporates have not yet been able to complete their accounts and audit due to corona pandemic the last date for holding AGM needs to be extended to March 31 and the gap between two AGMs may be allowed upto 21 months”.

Meanwhile,  around 4.37 crore income tax returns for fiscal 2019-20 (Assessment Year 2020-21) have been filed till December 28, the I-T department said on Tuesday. In the comparative period last year, 4.51 crore ITRs were filed. With just three days left for the deadline for income tax return (ITR) filing for individuals to end, the tax department asked taxpayers not to wait and file returns early.

“Over 4.37 crore Income Tax Returns for AY 2020-21 have already been filed till 28th of December, 2020,” the Income Tax department tweeted. This includes over 2.44 crore taxpayers filing ITR-1, over 95.64 lakh filing ITR-4, over 53.12 lakh filing ITR-3 and over 32.30 lakh filing ITR-2.

The deadline to file I-T returns by individual taxpayers for 2019-20 fiscal (Assessment Year 2020-21) ends on December 31, 2020, while the same for taxpayers whose accounts require to be audited is January 31, 2021.

Giving a comparative analysis of the ITRs filed, the Income Tax department said 4.51 crore ITRs were filed till August 28, 2019, compared to 4,36,62,150 returns filed till December 28, 2020.

Till December 28, 2020, the number of tax returns for fiscal 2019-20 filed by companies have gone up, while those filed by individuals have dropped, possibly indicating a drop in income.

The due date has been extended from July 31 and October 31, 2020, respectively in view of the COVID-19 pandemic. At the close of deadline for filing ITR without payment of late fees for fiscal 2018-19 (assessment year 2019-20), over 5.65 crore returns were filed by taxpayers. The deadline last year was extended till August 31, 2019.


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