The CBDT said the deadlines have been extended in order to “provide more time to taxpayers for furnishing of Income Tax Returns”.
The government has further extended the due date for filing income tax returns for the financial year 2019-20.
For taxpayers who need to get their accounts audited or furnish reports on specific domestic or international transactions, the deadline is now January 31, 2021. For the rest, it has been extended to December 31, 2020 from the earlier deadline of November 30.
The deadline for businesses to file annual Goods and Services Tax returns and reconciliation statements for for the financial year 2018-19, has also been extended from October 31, 2020 to December 31, 2020. The government said it had received a number of pleas for the extension in view of the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown, and the GST Council had also recommended that taxpayers be granted more time to comply.
Several chartered accountant bodies had been urging the government to extend the returns filing timelines this year in view of the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic that led to a national lockdown starting March 24. The government had earlier extended the deadline from July 31 to November 30.
“Further, in order to provide relief to small and middle class taxpayers…the due date for payment of self-assessment tax for the taxpayers whose self-assessment tax liability is up to ₹1 lakh had been extended to November 30, 2020,” the Central Board of Direct Taxes said in a statement on Saturday, adding that these deadlines had been extended again ‘to provide relief for the second time to small and middle class taxpayers.’
The due date for payment of self-assessment tax for these taxpayers has now been extended to January 31, 2021 for those who need to furnish audited accounts or report specified transactions. For the rest, the deadline has been extended to to December 31, 2020.
Consequently, the date for furnishing of various audit reports under the Income Tax Act, including tax audit report and report in respect of international/specified domestic transaction has also been extended to December 31, 2020 from the earlier extended deadline of October 31, 2020.
“Government has been receiving a number of representations regarding need to extend due date for filing Annual Return (FORM GSTR-9) and Reconciliation Statement (FORM GSTR-9C) for 2018-19 on the grounds that on account of the COVID-19 pandemic related lockdown and restrictions, normal operation of businesses have still not been possible in several parts of the country. It has been requested that the due dates for the same be extended beyond 31st October 2020 to enable the businesses and auditors to comply in this regard,” the Finance Ministry said.
Filing of annual return is optional for taxpayers with aggregate turnover below ₹2 crore in 2018-19, while filing the reconciliation statement is optional for the taxpayers with aggregate turnover upto ₹5 crore in that year.