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The Government of India on Saturday extended the deadline for filing tax returns by individual taxpayers for the Fiscal Year 2019-2020 by a month, till December 31. Additionally, the deadline for furnishing Income Tax Returns (ITRs) for taxpayers whose accounts are required to be audited has been extended till January 31, 2021.

Earlier in May, the government had extended various due dates for filing ITRs for FY 2019-20 from July 31 to November 20. This move was made to give compliance relief to taxpayers due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

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“The due date for furnishing of Income Tax Returns for the other taxpayers [for whom the due date (i.e. before the extension by the said notification) as per the Act was July 31, 2020] has been extended to December 31, 2020.” The due date for furnishing of ITRS for “the taxpayers (including their partners) who are required to get their accounts audited [for whom the due date as per the I-T Act is October 31, 2020] has been extended to January 31, 2021,” stated the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) in a statement.

The statement also added that the date for furnishing of various audit reports under the Act, including tax audit report and report in respect of international/specified domestic transaction, has been extended to December 31.

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The CBDT further stated that keeping in mind the “constraints being faced by taxpayers due to COVID-19,” they have extended the deadlines. This is done to provide more time for taxpayers for furnishing ITRs.

Meanwhile, the taxpayers who have not yet paid their complete tax liability and are required to pay self-assessment tax of more than one lakh, need to be mindful and pay their taxes within the original dates. This is to avoid charging of interests for filing of ITR beyond the original due date. The government on Saturday also extended the due date for furnishing GST annual returns for FY 2018-19 by two months till December 31.

On a side note, the furnishing of the GST annual return is obligatory only for those taxpayers with an aggregate annual turnover of over Rs 2 crore. The reconciliation statement on the other hand is to be furnished only by the registered persons who have an aggregate turnover of over Rs 5 crore.

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