A writ application was filed by The All Gujarat Federation of Tax consultants for the extension of due date of tax audit and Income tax returns. The writ application was filed on the below mentioned points:
“(a) direct the respondent No.2 (i.e. CBDT) to henceforth not make any alternations in Forms and Utilities or changes in tax compliance requirements, after the beginning of the Assessment year in which the same are made applicable; providing the tax payers and the tax practitioners a clear period of 183 and 214 days to prepare and submit the due reports and forms respectively.
(b) direct the respondent No.2 to extend the due date for filing the Income Tax Returns (ITR) and Tax Audit Reports (TAR) for AY 202021 to 31.01.2021.”
The case was presented by Mr. S.N. Soparkar along with Mr. B.S. Soparkar. As we can see the plea was to increase the due dates upto 31.01.2021 from 15.01.2021 for tax audit report and from 10.01.2021 for Income tax return.
While presenting the case the various points which were raised are as under:
1. The utility for filing the Income tax return were delayed and were not available at the start of assessment year and it has been prayed that CBDT should provide utility for filing of Income tax return should be available on 01st April of the assessment year so that people get a fair time to file their return of income.
2. ITR 6 was made available on 10.10.2020.
3. The next point which was raised was that CBDT has extended all due dates for government officials under Income tax upto 31.03.2021 and hence some relaxation should be provided to Individuals.
4. Further, the applicant relied on various judgements wherein it was said that CBDT has powers under the Income tax act to increase the due date and the same should be used for ease of taxpayer and assessee and to remove the hardship being faced.
Further, due to lockdown in the first few months of Assessment year 2020-21 many professionals have not been able to conduct Tax audit and currently also various areas are under partial lockdown.
After considering all the above points the Hon’ble Gujarat High Court held that:
“21. We are of the view that the respondent No.1 – Union of India, Ministry of Finance should immediately look into the issue, more particularly, the representation dated 12th October 2020 at Annexure : I of the paper book (page 108) and take an appropriate decision at the earliest in accordance with law. We, accordingly, direct the respondent No.1 to do so. While taking an appropriate decision, the Union shall bear in mind the observations made by this High Court in the two above noted judgements, more particularly, the observations of the Supreme Court in the case of Vaghjibhai S. Bishnoi (supra) that the powers given to the CBDT are beneficial in nature to be exercised for proper administration of fiscal law so that undue hardship may not be caused to the taxpayers. The purpose is of just, proper and efficient management of the work of assessment and the public interest. One additional aspect needs to be kept in mind before taking any appropriate decision that the time period for the officials of the tax department has been extended upto 31st March 2021 having regard to the current covid19
pandemic situation. If that be so, then some extension deserves to be considered in accordance with law. Let an appropriate decision be taken by 12th January 2021.
22. Post this matter on 13th January 2021 on top of the Board.”
In the above judgement, Hon’ble Gujarat High Court has asked CBDT to consider plea to extend due date before 12.01.2021.
Let’s see what CBDT has to say on the above writ petition and whether the due date will be extended or not.
What are your views and wishes for the due date? Comment below.
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