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Govt extends Income Tax Filing Deadlines - Here are the new ITR timelines

The tax department today extended the timelines for compliance under the Income-tax act in the wake of the hardship being faced by various stakeholders on account of the severe COVID-19 pandemic.

The extension in timelines will help ease the pressure in the minds of taxpayers. Amit Maheswari, Tax Partner, AKM Global, a tax and consulting firm says that these extensions can save the taxpayers from penalties and prosecutions for non-compliance.

What are the usual deadlines for Filing Tax Returns?

An individual, whose accounts are not required to be audited under the income tax law, has to usually file his or her income tax returns for the previous year ending March 31 by July 31.

Similarly, the usual date for furnishing income tax returns by the companies and other entities for the previous financial year is October 31.

The companies and also other entities are mostly required to get their accounts audited by the chartered accountants.

What are the new deadlines?

Individuals can now file their tax returns for income earned during the financial year 2020-21 by September 30. Thus they will have two more months to comply with statutory obligations.

The companies and other entities which are required to get their accounts audited have been given time till November-end to file income tax returns.

Why have dates been extended?

The second wave of COVID-19 pandemic and the restrictions imposed by state governments and local administrations in various parts of the country have severely disrupted normal activity.

These restrictions have crippled the functioning of companies.

For instance, companies have to provide Form-16 to their employees on the basis of which returns are filed. Since the pandemic has disrupted the whole process, companies are not in a position to provide Form-16 to their employees in time.

The deadline for issuing Form 16 by employers to employees is extended by a month to July 15, 2021. For similar reasons, more time has been provided to companies and other entities, which are required to get their accounts audited, to file income tax returns.

What are belated returns and the new deadlines for filing them?

An assessee who does not submit a return of income within the deadline (usually July 31, which has now been extended till 30 September for AY 2021-22) is allowed to file a belated return at a later time, with a certain penalty.

The due date of furnishing of belated/revised return of Income for the Assessment Year 2021-22, which was December 31, 2021, has been extended to January 31, 2022.


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