CBDT Extended the Due Date for Filing of Return for AY 2019-20

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Finally, after a lot of suspense, the CBDT on 23.07.2019 extended the due date of filing of return from 31st July 2019 to 31st August 2019 for AY 2019-20 (FY 2018-19). The CBDT extended the due date of filing of return after strong demand from the taxpayers due to frequent changes in software utility and extension of due date for issue of Form 16. The due date was extended for the taxpayers who are required to file the return by 31st July 2019. 

The CBDT finally extended the due date of filing of the income tax return for all the taxpayers who are required to file their income tax return by 31st July 2019. The CBDT on its twitter handle twitted the message as follows-


The Press release for the same is also released and is available on the income tax website and is available here.

The Press release reads as follows-

The due date for filing of Income Tax Returns for Assessment Year 2019- 20 is 31.07.2019 for certain categories of taxpayers. Upon consideration of the matter, the Central Board of Direct Taxes(CBDT) extends the ‘due date’ for filing of Income Tax Returns from 31st July, 2019 to 31st August, 2019 in respect of the said categories of taxpayers.

The 'certain categories of taxpayers' refer to all those taxpayers who are required to file the return by 31st July 2019. For example, the due date for filing of the income tax return for a salaried individual, who is not subject to 'Tax Audit', is 31st July 2019. Now, by virtue of the extension, the due date is 31st August 2019.

This extension will undoubtedly bring huge relief to the taxpayers and professionals who were under tremendous pressure to file the return in a very short period of time. It was reported that many employees even did not receive Form 16, the due date for issue of which was earlier extended from 15th June to 10th July.

Section 234F prescribes late fees for delay in filing of return after the due date as detailed below-

Time of filing of ITR-1
Total Income is up to Rs. 5 Lakh
Total Income is more than Rs. 5 Lakh
If ITR-1 is filed by 31st July 2019 31st August 2019
Rs. Nil
Rs. Nil
If ITR-1 is filed in the period between 1st August 2019 1st September 2019 to 31st December 2019
Rs. 1,000
Rs. 5,000
If ITR-1 is filed in the period between 1st January 2020 to 31st March 2020
Rs. 1,000
Rs. 10,000
Now with the extension, one can file the return by 31st August 2019 without paying any late fees. Any return filed by a taxpayer within the extended due date of 31st August 2019 shall be considered as a return filed within the due date.

The suspense on the extension of the due date was aggravated due to the fact that there were messages and emails being sent to the taxpayers reminding them to file the return by 31st July. There were frequent announcements from the CBDT that no extension of the due date was under consideration. It was even announced that the software utilities were only upgraded for smooth and easy filing of the returns based on users feedbacks and hence no extension was required.  


Who are mandatorily required to file a return of income in ITR 1?

As per section 139(1) of the Income Tax Act, 1961, if the 'Gross Total Income' of an Individual exceeds the basic exemption limit amount in a previous year then he is compulsorily required to file the income tax return. Basic exemption limit amount is the amount of income on which no tax is payable. Thus an Individual below 60 years of age is compulsorily required to file an income tax return if his 'Gross Total Income' in FY 2018-19 exceeds Rs. 2,50,000. Similarly, for a senior citizen and a very senior citizen individual, the limit is Rs. 3,00,000 and Rs. 5,00,000 respectively.

If the 'Gross Total Income' of an individual does not exceed the basic exemption limit, then he is not required to file the income tax return though voluntarily he may file the income tax return.

For an individual filing income tax return in ITR 1, the 'Gross Total Income' is the aggregate of income under the following heads-
  • Income under the head salaries after all exemption under section 10 and 16 (which includes 'Standard Deduction'),
  • Income from House Property, and
  • Income from other sources.
If the aggregate of the income under the above three heads is more than Rs. 2,50,000 or higher, as the case may be, then return filing is compulsory.

In this context, it is important to note that due to rebate allowed under section 87A if no tax is payable, but still the taxpayer has to file the return of income since his 'Gross Total Income' is more than the basic exemption limit. For example, if the income from the salary of an individual below 60 years of age is Rs. 3,00,000 then after rebate his tax liability will be 'Nil'. But since his income exceeds the basic exemption limit of Rs. 2,50,000, he is required to file the income tax return. Reducing the tax liability due to rebate does not absolve an individual from the filing of the income tax return.


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Although the extension is by way of Press Release, a formal order for the extension of due date from the CBDT is yet to be issued.

UPDATE: CBDT has finally issued the Order for extension of due date.

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