ITR Filing Date Extension a Huge Relief for Taxpayers
Various due date relaxations will reduce the compliance burden for those who have been struggling in crisis
The second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic has led to strict lockdowns in many states, restricting movement as well as the closure of most establishments. Filing your income tax return in such circumstances would not have been an easy task for many, especially those who are not very tech-savvy and do a lot of tasks related to tax filing manually, year after year. Tasks like getting physical copies of their account statements from the banks, form-16 from their employer, premium receipts of their insurance policies from their agents, and even records of their investments. Tasks like delivering these documents to their respective lawyer or the chartered accountant.
Taking this into cognisance, the government on Thursday decided to extend the various income tax return deadlines for the financial year 2020-21. Instead of filing their returns by July 31, individual taxpayers would now have time till September 30. And hopefully, by that time, the situation would have improved and they would be able to get all their records from the respective offices on time.
Moreover, the government also extended the deadline for businesses to issue form-16 from June 15 to July 15. Many people still get the form-16 in physical format, and they had been worried about going to their offices amid the surge in Coronavirus cases. Now they can wait for another month, by which time the spike in the Covid cases is also expected to subside.
According to Archit Gupta, Founder, and CEO of ClearTax, various due date relaxations will reduce the compliance burden for those who have been struggling in the current crisis. He added that this has also emphasised how critical it is for businesses to move their tax compliance fully online.
“The extension of due dates for various compliances for employers as well extension of tax filing due date for taxpayers is important in the current situation as the second wave of Covid is raging through several states in India,” he said.
The government also extended the deadline for corporate taxpayers by a month to November 30, while also extending the date for filing tax audit reports by a month. This move is expected to benefit companies because getting an audit done amid the pandemic situation and the imposed restrictions is not an easy task.