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No Extension of ITR Filing Due Date AY 2019-20

no-extension-of-itr-filing-due-date-ay-2019-20
Image courtesy: https://www.incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in/home

No Extension of ITR Filing Due Date AY 2019-20: From the recent press releases and the messages and images it is unfolding that the government is in no mood to extend the due date of ITR filing for AY 2019-20 or FY 208-19 from 31st July 2019. The recent popup image on the e-filing website further strengthens the view that no extension of ITR filing due date AY 2019-20 is going to happen.


This featured image is the recently introduced as a pop-up image on the income-tax e-filing website that reminds every taxpayer that the due date of filing of ITR for AY 2019-20 is 31st July and they should not wait till last moment and start filing the returns now. Look at the recorded video.


The income-tax also started sending SMS on registered mobile numbers to remind the taxpayer to file the ITR by the due date of 31st July or else late fees will be levied.

The due date of filing of income tax returns for the year ended in March 2019 (AY 2019-20) for salaried individuals and others including HUF who are not subject to tax audit is 31st July, 2019.

Amid the demands of the taxpayers as well as of the tax professionals for extending the due date of 31st July due to a variety of reasons and one of it is the frequent changes in the software utilities since its introduction in April 2019. 

On 16th July, the CBDT rejecting the pleas of the taxpayers refused to indicate any possibility of extension of due date for filing of ITR for AY 2019-20 from the 31st July despite there being a delay in the release of return filing utilities and frequent modifications thereto.

Earlier this year the Form 16 and Form 24Q were modified by the CBDT with the objective of synchronizing the data between these forms and the return filed by the taxpayers and extended the last date for issue of TDS certificates in Form 16 from 15th June to 10th July this year. 

The extension was given to redress the genuine hardship of deductors in timely filing of TDS statement in Form 24Q on account of revision of its format and consequent updating of the File Validation Utility for its online filing.

But in many cases, Form 16 is actually received by the employees after 15th July and many more are yet to receive it. Form 16 is the primary important document on the basis of which a salaried individual files his income tax return. Moreover, this year the ITR forms are now prefilled. If there is any mistake in Form 16, the same needs to be corrected by the employer else the employee may have to suffer.

The logic which was given by the CBDT in the press release is highly irrational and contrary to the actual facts. It appears the release is made just to place an excuse for not extending the ITR filing due date. This shows the adamant attitude of the government towards the taxpayers who were thanked by the Finance Minister in her maiden Budget Speech while presenting the Union Budget 2019 in the Parliament on 5th July 2019.

The Board itself ignored their own faults which are not limited to change in Form 16 or Form 24Q only. The change in Form 16 and Form 24Q was itself notified on 12th April 2019, after the beginning of the assessment year. To accommodate the changes, the due date for filing of Form 24Q and Form 16 by the employer was extended for about a month.

The utilities for filing of the ITRs were made first available on e-filing portal on 9th April. On that day only ITR 1 and ITR 4 were introduced on the portal. The ITR 2 for the AY 2019-20 was introduced on the e-filing portal on 2nd May and the ITR 3 on 10th May 2019.

There was a 9-day delay in introducing ITR 1 and ITR 4 and 32-day delay for ITR 2, followed by 40 days delay for ITR 3 despite there were clear-cut directions from the Hon'ble Delhi High Court in this regard. 

In 2015, the Hon'ble Delhi High Court in the case of Avinash Gupta Vs Union of India and Ors bearing Case No. W.P.(C) 9032 of 2015 directed the CBDT "to notify ITR Forms on or before 1st day of the assessment year and to record reason for delayed release of ITR if it fails to release ITR on time."

The ITR forms were notified by Notification No. 32/2019 dated 01.04.2019 but the utilities were introduced belatedly as scheduled above but were updated frequently.

Some updates were limited to user-friendly measures for smooth filing of ITRs. Prefilling of ITR is one of them. However, some updates were very comprehensive which require the collection of more information, corroborating data, and much more paperwork. In this series, the latest update of ITR 2 and ITR 3 are worth notable. Such last-minute changes put the taxpayers as well as the tax consultants at backfoot.

A person keeps the papers or documents for the financial transactions in the manner in which the same are required at the year-end for the filing of the returns. A sudden change and that too at the eleventh hour makes the position horrible. In the haste, if any wrong information goes in the return, the same will only invite trouble later on. Correct filing of return will take substantial time but delay may cost late fees. So the ultimate sufferer is the taxpayer for his no-fault. The root cause of the problem is the delay in communicating the requirements of the government to get oneself prepared for filing of the return in due time.

In response to a tweet below by Shri Nikhil Vadia, the Board has tried to clarify the issue but ended with wrong facts. It clearly deliberates the reluctance of the government to make any extension.
The income tax law as applicable for AY 2019-20 was amended by Finance Act, 2018 which was tabled on 1st February 2018 by the then Finance Minister Mr. Arun Jaitley. The Act came into effect from 01.04.2018 but the income tax software development team was not much aware of it.

The reporting requirement of scrip-wise long term capital gains on the sale or transfer of shares or mutual funds were not properly taken care in the utility which was first released on 02.05.2019. Thereafter, after various media reports, a confusing communication was flashed on the e-filing portal on 14.06.2019 regarding the change in ITR 2 and ITR 3 utility.

Finally, on 11.07.2019, the changes were duly incorporated in the ITR 2 and ITR 3.


no-extension-of-itr-filing-due-date-ay-2019-20

A category of 'Foreign company' is also added in the directorship companies of the taxpayer as well as the unquoted shares investment companies. Collecting their PAN will be an awful task when the same is asked just some days before the due date of filing of ITR for Ay 2019-20.


Similarly, a grand requirement is being asked for details of shares or mutual fund units sold, the long term gains of which were exempt earlier. It now requires to submit the ISIN code of the securities transferred. In case the volume of transactions is large, then one may find it difficult to gather the information by b31st July. Further, there is no option to import the data from excel or other similar files. Each and every data is required to be typed in the utility.

The Board clarified its stand that software utility for e-filing of all the ITR forms was released long back. The utility for e-filing ITR-2 and ITR-3 was released on 2nd May and on 10th May 2019 respectively. However, the software utility update was a dynamic process and was continuously taken up as per the feedback received from the users/filers to ease their experience in electronic filing of returns.

It is further clarified that the updating of utility does not hamper filing of return as the taxpayers are allowed to file using the utility which is available at that point of time. It was further stated with statistical data that more than 85 lakh taxpayers have filed returns in ITR-1 till date by using the said utility, which has also undergone update later. Therefore, the impression that the taxpayers are not able to file return due to changes in ITR form is also not correct as more than 1.38 crore taxpayers have already filed their returns by using the utility released till date. Even though the utility is being updated regularly to provide ease to taxpayers, the returns filed by using the previous version of utility will continue to be valid.


Unfortunately, the Board could not recognize various issues and thus made such irresponsible comment which is not expected from the apex body of tax administration. The problem is not with the old version of the software utility. Even there is no problem with the current version of the software utility. The problem is in not notifying those changes or requirements well in advance so that people can arrange the requisite details in time rather than notifying the same in the last minute which causes undue harassment to the return filers.

The Board also talked about pre-filling of return forms which is highly irrelevant for the issue. Moreover, the feature was also available in the preceding year. Providing irrelevant statistical data at this juncture, which has no relevance with the extension of the due date at all, only deflects the attitude of the government towards the taxpayers who suffers because of irresponsible acts of others which the Board should control.


Before conclusion, do remember the last date of filing of ITRs remains 31st July 2019. One should prepare himself on timely filing of correct returns by the due date. It is now mandatory to link the PAN with Aadhaar before filing of ITR for AY 2019-20.


In case one miss the due date of 31st July still, a return can be filed but with applicable late fees. The belated returns or ITR for AY 2019-20 can be filed by 31st March 2020. After March 2020, no returns for AY 2019-20 can be filed.

Due Date for filing of Return of Income in ITR-1 for AY 2019-20:

The prescribed due date for filing of income-tax return in ITR-1 is 31st July 2019 for the Financial Year 2018-19 or Assessment Year 2019-20.

A return in ITR-1 for AY 2019-20 can be filed after the due date of 31st July 2019 but before 31st March 2020 with late fees which vary according to 'Total Income' of the taxpayer and belated time of filing the ITR-1 as given 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
Rs. Nil
Rs. Nil
If ITR-1 is filed in the period between 1st August 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

In the first case where the return of income in ITR-1 is filed within the due date of 31st July, no late fees is payable. However, if the ITR-1 is filed after the due date but before 31st December, then the late fee is Rs. 5,000 if total income exceeds Rs. 5 lakh in the AY 2019-20. If the ITR-1 is filed after 31st December, then the late fee is increased to Rs. 10,000 under similar circumstances. In any case, if the total income does not exceed Rs. 5 lakh then the late fees is limited to Rs. 1,000. Please note that no return of income in ITR-1 can be filed for the AY 2019-20 after 31st March 2020.


Read the full text of the Press release:


Press Information Bureau 
Government of India
Ministry of Finance
16 JUL 2019 9:01PM by PIB Delhi

CBDT issues clarification on incorrect reports in social media pertaining to difficulty in filing of Income Tax Return

Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has said today that no changes have been made in any of the Income-tax Return (ITR) forms including ITR-2 and ITR-3 since the notification made on 1st April 2019, i.e. on the 1st day of the Assessment Year 2019-20. There were reports in social media that the taxpayers were facing difficulties in filing return of income in ITR-2 & ITR-3 due to large scale changes in the ITR form on 11th July, 2019.

It is stated that the software utility for e-filing of all the ITR forms has been released long back. The utility for e-filing ITR-2 and ITR-3 was released on 2nd May and on 10th  May 2019 respectively. However, the software utility update is a dynamic process and is continuously taken up as per the feedback received from the users/filers to ease their experience in electronic filing of returns.

It is  further clarified that the updating of utility does not hamper filing of return as the taxpayers are allowed to file using the utility which is available at that point of time. For example, more than 85 lakh taxpayers have filed returns in ITR-1 till date by using the said utility, which has also undergone update later. Therefore, the impression that the taxpayers are not able to file return due to changes in ITR form is also not correct as more than 1.38 crore taxpayers have already filed their returns by using the utility released till date. Even though the utility is being updated regularly to provide ease to taxpayers, the returns filed by using the previous version of utility will continue to be valid.

It is pertinent to state that the updation in utility of ITR forms is based on feedback and mainly aimed at easing the compliance burden of the taxpayers by facilitating easier e-filing. For instance, this year, the facility of pre-filling of return forms has been provided based on the information furnished in the TDS statements. This facility has been updated in the utility subsequently. This would substantially reduce the efforts of taxpayers in filling of return forms.

It is reiterated that there are no changes in the notified ITR forms; only the utility has been updated to facilitate the taxpayers. Therefore, the assertion that numerous changes have been made in ITR-2 and ITR-3 on July 11, 2019, does not give a correct picture.

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DSM/RM/KMN

UPDATE: Finally, CBDT Extended the Due Date for Filing of Return for AY 2019-20


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