Centre extends 2020-21 income tax return filing deadline for individuals to 30 September

New Delhi: The government on Thursday extended Income Tax return filing deadline for 2020-21 for individuals till 30 September to ease taxpayer compliance burden amid the raging second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has also extended the ITR filing deadline for companies by a month till 30 November.

In a circular, the CBDT eased by a month till 15 July, 2021, the deadline for issuing Form 16 by employers to employees.

As per the income tax law, individual taxpayers filing ITR-1 or 4 are required to file their return for the previous financial year (2020-21), which ended March 2021, by 31 July, 2021. The deadline for companies and firms whose accounts are to be audited is 31 October.

This due date has now been extended till 30 September and 30 November, respectively.

"The Central Government, in continuation of its commitment to address the hardship being faced by various stakeholders on account of the severe COVID-19 pandemic, has, on consideration of representations received from various stakeholders, decided to extend timelines for compliances under the Income-tax Act, 1961," the CBDT said in a statement.

The due date for filing the tax audit report and transfer pricing certificate has been extended by a month till 31 October and 30 November, respectively. For filing belated or revised return of income the due date is now 31 January, 2022.

Besides, the deadline for financial institutions to furnish the Statement of Financial Transaction (SFT) report has been extended till 30 June, from 31 May, 2021.

Nangia & Co LLP Partner Shailesh Kumar said the extension of due dates is likely to provide some relief to taxpayers on the tax compliance front.

"However, for taxpayers, whose entire income tax liability is not discharged by TDS and advance tax and such shortfall is more than Rs 1 lakh, they should endeavour to file their ITR within respective original due date to avoid the charge of interest u/s 234A, which is charged on filing ITR beyond the original due date at the rate of 1 per cent per month for every month/ part thereof after the original due date of filing ITR," Kumar added.

Deloitte India Partner Saraswathi Kasturirangan said the tax withholding on salary for FY 20-21 had added complexities in terms of determining taxable employer contributions to PF, NPS and Superannuation, identifying and reporting interest accretions on the same, enabling employees to avail the deemed Leave Travel Concessions etc.

"The extension of the timeline to file the quarterly e-TDS returns from 31 May to 30 June and the issue of Form 16 from 15 June to 15 July is, therefore, a welcome reprieve," Kasturirangan added.

AKM Global Tax Partner Amit Maheswari said these extensions can save the taxpayers from penal and prosecution for non-complying as right now concentrating on the health and family is more important than fulfilling compliance requirements on time thereby, extension in due dates would definitely help ease the pressure in the minds of the taxpayers.

The CBDT had on 1 April notified forms for filing I-T returns for 2020-21 fiscal, and said that keeping in view the ongoing crisis due to COVID pandemic and to facilitate the taxpayers, no significant change has been made in comparison to the last year's ITR Forms. The new ITR forms ask taxpayers if they are opting for the new tax regime.

For 2020-21, the government had given taxpayers the option to choose a new tax regime under section 115BAC of the I-T Act. The new I-T slabs would be for individuals not availing or foregoing certain specified deductions or exemptions while computing total income for tax purpose.

Under this, annual income up to Rs 2.5 lakh is exempt from tax. Those individuals earning between Rs 2.5 lakh and Rs 5 lakh will pay 5 percent tax. Income between Rs 5 and 7.5 lakh will be taxed at 10 percent, while those between Rs 7.5 and 10 lakh at 15 percent.

Those earning between Rs 10 and 12.5 lakh will pay tax at the rate of 20 percent, while those between Rs 12.5 and Rs 15 lakh will pay at the rate of 25 percent. Income above Rs 15 lakh will be taxed at 30 percent.


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