Govt. extends I-T filing deadline

Centre sets Sept. 30 date to file returns, employers have till July 15 for Form 16

The government has extended deadlines for various Income Tax law compliances citing the hardships being faced amid the severe COVID-19 pandemic.

The due date for furnishing income tax returns for the Assessment Year 2021-22 has been extended from Jul 31 to September 30. Employers have also been granted a month’s extension for furnishing Form 16 that reflects tax deductions at source from employees’ salaries, from June 15 to July 15.

Entities that need to file audited income reports have also been given a month’s extension from their usual deadlines for filing such audit reports, as well to furnish their income tax returns.

“The Central Government, in continuation of its commitment to address the hardship being faced by various stakeholders on account of the severe COVID-19 pandemic, has, on consideration of representations received from various stakeholders, decided to extend timelines for compliances under the Income-tax Act, 1961,” the Finance Ministry said in a statement.

In a related development, taxpayers will not be able to avail e-filing services on the income tax portal between June 1 and June 6, as a new e-filing system is to be introduced on June 7 and the week prior to it will be used for migrating data from the legacy system.

“Taxpayers are encouraged to complete all their urgent tasks involving any submission, upload or downloads before June 1 to avoid any difficulty during the blackout period,” the I-T department said, adding that no compliance dates had been scheduled during that week to avoid inconvenience to taxpayers.

The new portal is expected to facilitate quicker tax refunds and simplify tax returns with pre-filled forms that would minimise data entry efforts for taxpayers ‘without any tax knowledge’, the department said.

A new call centre would aid taxpayers with immediate answers to queries with FAQs, tutorials, videos and chatbots and live agents, the department said adding that all key functions will also be available on a mobile app subsequently.

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