Economy

No, the due date to file tax returns has not been extended to March 31, 2021

Satya Sontanam BL Research Bureau | Updated on September 23, 2020 Published on September 23, 2020

The concession in dates provided earlier stands — there is no further extension

Recently, fake news did the rounds on social media platforms, that the due date to file income tax returns for AY2019-20 (FY2018-19) and AY2020-21 (FY2019-20) and to file tax audit report for AY2020-21 (FY2019-20) have been extended to March 31, 2021. But this is not the case.

The fake news probably stemmed from confusion after the Taxation and Other Laws (Relaxation and Amendment of Certain Provisions) Bill, 2020, was introduced in Lok Sabha on September 18.

The Bill states that the due date for compliances falling between March 20, 2020 and December 31, 2020 will stand extended to March 31, 2021 or such other date beyond March 31, 2021 as notified by the Central Government.

However, there has been a proviso (a condition or qualification to a tax provision), which specifically says that the due dates for filing income tax returns for AY2019-20 and AY2020-21 are September 30, 2020 and November 30, 2020, respectively.

Another proviso states that the due date to file the tax audit report for AY2020-21 will be October 31, 2020.

That said, the Bill is not law yet. While the Bill has been passed by Parliament, it now awaits the President’s assent. G Srinivas, Managing Partner, Brahmayya & Co, Bengaluru, says, “The Bill that is introduced is currently at the Bill stage and will become an Act after receipt of assent of the Honourable President of India. If the Bill is passed as it is, the Bill will become applicable retrospectively effective from March 31, 2020.”

Effective due dates

So, what are the effective due dates to file ITRs?

The government initially through an ordinance — The Taxation and Other Laws (Relaxation and Amendment of Certain Provisions) Ordinance 2020 — provided relief to taxpayers for the compliances between March 20, 2020 and June 29, 2020.

 

The relief was further extended by two notifications from the Income Tax Department for the compliances between March 20, 2020 and December 31, 2020.

The compliances that had to be done in the specified period included filing of belated and revised income tax returns for AY2019-20 – original due date being March 31, 2020; filing of original income tax return for AY2020-21 – original due date being July 31, 2020; and filing of tax audit report for AY2020-21 – due date being October 31, 2020 as per Finance Act, 2020.

The due dates for these now – after the notifications even before the introduction of the Bill – are as follows – September 30, 2020 for relevant returns pertaining to AY2019-20 (FY18-19); November 30, 2020 for the original return with respect to AY2020-21 (FY19-20); October 31, 2020 for filing the tax audit report for AY2020-21 (FY2019-20). These provisions have only been incorporated in the Bill introduced in Parliament. So, there is no extension of dates until March 31, 2020.

Srinivas says, “The due date for filing of income tax returns for AY2019-20 remains September 30, 2020 and for AY2020-21 remains November 30, 2020. There is confusion in the minds of people and the government needs to provide a suitable clarification in this regard to clear such confusion.”

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Published on September 23, 2020
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