On 24.06.2020 a notification was issued by Ministry of Finance notifying all the extension of due dates which were announced by it via Press Release.
The major announcement in that notification was extension of due date for Income tax return, Tax audit etc.
However if you read the start of the notification it was as under:
“In exercise of the powers conferred by sub-section (1) of section 3 of the Taxation and Other Laws (Relaxation of Certain Provisions) Ordinance, 2020 (2 of 2020) (hereinafter referred to as the Ordinance), the Central Government hereby specifies , for the purposes of the said sub-section (1),-
(i) the 31st day of December, 2020 shall be the end date of the period during which the time limit specified in, or prescribed or notified under, the specified Act falls for the completion or compliance of such action as specified under the said sub-section; and
(ii) the 31st day of March, 2021 shall be the end date to which the time limit for completion or compliance of such action shall stand extended:”
Now in the above para reference has been made to sub section 1 of section 3 of Original ordinance Dt. 31.03.2020 wherein various Income Tax related due dates were discussed such as passing of any order, filing of appeal, making investment under 54, 80C etc.
It was also mentioned that any due date which was falling due between 20.03.2020 to 29.06.2020 shall stand extended to 30.06.2020.
The notification covers all other compliances i.e. filing Income tax return, Tax audit, TDS return for 4th quarter etc. in the proviso of notification. Thus, the only thing left in that sub section would be filing of appeal, filing of any statement, replying notices, or passing order.
According to above para it says that 31st December shall be the end date of all compliance of the said act (i.e. Income tax act) and covered under said sub section (i.e. sub section 1 of section 3 of the ordinance) and same shall stand extended to 31.03.2021.
Thus, now all assessment which were due during this period shall stand extended. Also filing of SFT for FY 2019-20 which is generally due on 31.05.2020 shall stand extended to 31.03.2021.
Also we can get a hint of such interpretation from Press release where PAN aadhar due date was extended to 31.03.2021 and in the press release it was also mentioned that the date for passing of order or issuance of notice by the authorities and various compliances under various Direct Taxes & Benami Law which are required to be passed/ issued/ made by 31st December, 2020 has been extended to 31st March, 2021 whereas no such thing was mentioned in notification.
Thus, now all assessment which were due to be completed in this year shall be extended to 31.03.2021.
Although, it seems a bit weird but until any further clarification comes from government this can be the possible interpretation of the opening para of the notification.
Further, this should not affect due date for TDS return for FY 2020-21 as the notification gave reference to original ordinance which only covered return due between 20.03.2020 to 29.06.2020 and since the TDS return for this Financial year would be due on 15.07.2020 it won’t be covered.
What are your thoughts?