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Will #TaxAuditExtendToday campaign work?

Satya Sontanam | Updated on September 26, 2019 Published on September 26, 2019

BL Research Bureau

There have been numerous requests by the tax payers, whose accounts are to be audited, and Chartered Accountants to extend the due date for filing income tax returns (ITR) with tax audit reports for FY 18-19 (Assessment Year 19-20).

Assessees who are required to submit tax audit report include corporates, individuals carrying on any business with total sales or gross receipts exceeding ₹1 crore, and those providing any professional services with gross receipts exceeding ₹50 lakh in a financial year.

Such assesesses are required to get their accounts audited, and file the ITR with the tax audit report by September 30 of the subsequent financial year.

For the past three years, the September 30 deadline was extended by the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) to remove inconvenience to businesses and tax professionals, in the wake of increased compliance requirements due to the roll out of the income declaration scheme, demonetisation and GST.

Reasons for claim

This year, again, there have been demands to extend the due date. Hashtag #TaxAuditExtendToday was trending in the Twitter on September 25, with users claiming that the reasons to extend the due date for filing tax audit reports are genuine.

For FY 18-19, the due date to file the ITR for non-audit cases was extended from July 31, 2019 to August 31, 2019 due to extension of deadline for employers to issue Form 16 — a certificate for TDS (tax deducted at source) deducted on salary. Thus, the time period to prepare and file tax audit report for audit-cases was curtailed to only one month (August 31 to September 30) from two months earlier.

Naveen Wadhwa, Deputy General Manager at Taxmann.com, said, “Since failure to furnish tax audit report on time, invites penalty of ₹1,50,000 or 0.5 per cent of turnover to the businesses, it is essential that government should consider an extension of due date for tax audit by 30 days at least.”

He also said that many new reporting requirements have been introduced in the forms like reporting of shareholding in unlisted companies, additional disclosures requirements for start-ups and extended schedule for profit and loss items in the new forms, require more time for auditors to gather all the required information from an assessee and report it in ITR.

Others cite offices being shut down on account of rains and floods at various locations, and delay in providing instructions for filing ITRs by the IT Department as the reasons warranting extension of due date for filing tax audit reports.

Chartered Accountant Chirag Chauhan said that the quality of the work would get impacted if the due date is not considered to be extended.

“It’s just becoming a habit that if one due date gets extended, subsequent due dates are also to be extended,” Vishal Anand, Partner – Corporate and International Tax, PwC India, said. However, Anand also believed that the government should consider extending this year’s deadline for submitting tax audit reports, given the fact that the ability of small tax professional to adopt to the new changes in the ITR forms is not fast.

Published on September 26, 2019
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