The Gujarat High Court has rejected the writ application seeking an extension of the deadline of filing income tax returns and tax audit reports for the assessment year 2020-21 in view of the Covid 19 pandemic.
The High Court said CBDT may consider issuing an appropriate circular taking a moderate view as regards the outcome of late filing of tax audit reports (TAR). The Court left it to the better discretion of CBDT.
The court had asked the central finance ministry to reconsider the deadlines. The central board of direct taxes (CBDT) in its order had stated that it would not grant any extensions for filing Income Tax Returns and audit reports.
The last date for filing ITR in non-audit cases was January 10 and in cases of audit, is February 15. The deadline for filing the tax audit report (TAR) was extended till January 15 this year. Businesses with a turnover exceeding Rs 1 crore in any previous year are needed to file a tax audit report.
The court gave its verdict on the petition of the All India Gujarat Federation of Tax Consultants filed last year. The latter had made a representation in October 2020 seeking an extension of due dates.
CBDT in its order had said that the tax collections assume great significance in these difficult times of the COVID-19 pandemic and the government needs revenue to carry out relief work for the poor and other responsibilities.
Any type of delay in filing returns affects the collection of taxes and other welfare functions of the state for the vulnerable and weaker sections of society which is funded through the revenue collected.
CBDT has already extended the due dates on three occasions.
According to the Board, the extension given by the Indian government is more generous than other countries and any further extension would hamper the efforts of the government to provide relief to the poor during the Coronavirus pandemic.