In the wake of severe Covid-19 pandemic, the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has decided to extend timelines of various tax compliance dates on Saturday. “In view of the adverse circumstances arising due to the severe Covid-19 pandemic and also in view of the several requests received from taxpayers, tax consultants & other stakeholders from across the country, requesting that various compliance dates may be relaxed, the Government has extended certain timelines today," the ministry of finance said in a statement.
The move is aimed at mitigating “the difficulties being faced by various stakeholders," it further added. The “relaxations are the latest among the recent initiatives taken by the government to ease compliances to be made by the taxpayers with the aim to grant respite during these difficult times," it mentioned in a notification.
“It’s a welcome move to extend the timeline of various tax compliances as the country is struggling with severe second wave of coronavirus," said Sumit Mangal, Partner, L&L Partners.
Under section 119 of the Income-tax Act, 1961, CBDT has provided the following relaxations:
1) The filing of belated return under sub-section (4) and revised return under sub-section (5) of Section 139 of the Income Tax Act, for Assessment Year 2020-21, which was required to be filed on or before March 31, 2021, may be filed on or before May 31, 2021, CBDT said in a statement.
2) Individuals can file Appeal to Commissioner (Appeals) under Chapter XX of the Income Tax Act within “the time provided under that Section or by May 31, 2021, whichever is later," CBDT said. The last date of filing under that Section was set at April 1, 2021.
3) “Objections to Dispute Resolution Panel (DRP) under Section 144C of the Act, for which the last date of filing under that Section is April 1, 2021 or thereafter, may be filed within the time provided under that Section or by May 31, 2021, whichever is later," the ministry added.
4) Income-tax return in response to notice under Section 148 of the Act may be filed within the time allowed under that notice or by May 31, 2021, it said.
5) “Payment of tax deducted under Section 194-IA, Section 194-IB and Section 194M of the Act, and filing of challan-cum-statement for such tax deducted, which are required to be paid and furnished by April 30, 2021(respectively) under Rule 30 of the Income-tax Rules, 1962, may be paid and furnished on or before May 31, 2021," the notification stated.
6) “Statement in Form No. 61, containing particulars of declarations received in Form No.60, which is due to be furnished on or before April 30, 2021, may be furnished on or before May 31, 2021," it also said.
“While time limit to file appeal to Commissioner (Appeals) has been extended to May 31, the time to pay tax demand pursuant to final assessment order has not been specifically extended," Sumit Mangal added.
The finance ministry earlier relaxed the timeline for payments under the Direct Tax Vivad se Vishwas Act, 2020 (without an additional amount) till June 30, 2021. Launched in 2020, the Direct Tax ‘Vivad se Vishwas’ Act aims to reduce pending income tax litigation, generate timely revenue for the government.
“The extension of deadlines under the Income Tax Act appears to be in line with the Supreme Court Order dated 27.04.2021. Similar extension of timelines for compliance under the GST law is also the need of the hour as the businesses are striving every month to make tax payments and file returns," said Prateek Bansal, Associate Partner, White & Brief Advocates & Solicitors.