Income Tax Return, Audit Report Filing Due Dates Extended By CBDT
Due dates for filing of income tax returns and various reports of audit for the assessment year 2021-22 have been extended by the tax department.
This comes after several representations by chartered accountant groups highlighting the difficulties faced in completing filings due to a spike in Omicron-Covid cases and due to technical glitches in the income tax e-filing platform. The Surat Chartered Accountants Association has even taken the CBDT to court seeking a waiver of penalties for late filings.
In response to these representations, the Central Board of Direct Taxes said in a statement it has granted an extension.
"On consideration of difficulties reported by the taxpayers and other stakeholders due to Covid and in electronic filing of various reports of audit under the provisions of the Income-tax Act, 1961, the Central Board of Direct Taxes has decided to further extend the due dates for filing of income tax returns and various reports of audit for the Assessment Year 2021-22."
"The due date extension in filing the tax audit report is definitely a welcome move because some of chartered accountants were at breaking point because of the Jan. 15 deadline for filing audit reports," independent tax practitioner Ameet Patel told BloombergQuint. "But, CBDT is still not addressing the root problem, i.e., fixing the Income Tax portal."
Along with the surge in Covid-19 numbers, the main problem still remains to be the portal. If the glitches in the portal are not fixed, taxpayers are still going to face the same problem, he said.
The due date extension was necessitated because of the mess that the Income Tax portal has created. There is absolutely no clarity as to what the authorities are doing with the portal.Ameet Patel, Independent Tax Practitioner
This view was shared by another expert as well. There was tremendous pressure for the CBDT to extend the deadline as there are three petitions before the Gujarat High Court. And also, professionals were taking their complaints regarding the tax portal to Twitter and other platforms, Hardik Kakadiya, president of the Chartered Accountants Association Surat, told BloombergQuint.
Between the earlier due date on Jan. 15 for filing audit reports and many offices/staff members hit by Covid-19, chartered accountants were at a clear disadvantage.Hardik Kakadiya, President, Chartered Accountants Association Surat
This is why the extension was not made on the last date (which is the regular practice) but four days earlier, he said. Though the extension is beneficial for chartered accountants now, the portal will have to be fixed soon to avoid another extension in due dates, it was added.
As per the CBDT's statement these are the key changes:
Due date of furnishing of report of audit extended to Feb. 15, 2022
Due date of furnishing of report from an accountant to Feb. 15, 2022
Due date of furnishing of return of income for the assessment year 2021-22 is further extended to March 15, 2022.
The new e-filing portal, launched on June 7, has faced numerous complaints of glitches. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has asked Infosys Ltd., which was given the contract to develop the portal, to resolve the issues faced by taxpayers on current functionalities by Sept. 15.