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Due date for filing of Tax Audit Report & ITR for AY 2020-21 - To extend or not to extend?

Aishna Kukreja 
on 16 October 2020

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The COVID-19 pandemic had an extremely adverse effect on the professional work capacity of Chartered Accountants, Tax Advocates, Tax Practitioners, and Article Assistants, etc. While the country is slowly moving towards the unlock process, it is no news that the spread and severity of COVID-19 cases is increasing with each passing day.

With the due dates of Tax Audit, Transfer Pricing Audit, Income Tax Return, and various other Audit Reports approaching, various problems are being faced by professionals, some of which are:

1. Infected employees/members/professionals:

Numerous employees, members, and professionals have been infected by COVID-19, making it next to impossible for them to work. On an average, a person who gets infected is not able to work for at least 20 days which can extend up to a month for the post-COVID-19 health recovery. There has also been a lot of mental and emotional stress on the COVID-19 infected professionals and their families.

Due date for filing of Tax Audit Report and ITR for AY 2020-21 - To extend or not to extend

2. Restricted Movement:

Owing to the pandemic, traveling to the place of audit has become extremely difficult for professionals. This is also because several restrictions are still in place in various states and movement is still limited. Furthermore, commutation through public transport is not fully operational making it all the more difficult for travel to audit places.

3. Details Required for Audit:

Most offices are working from home and hence, details required for carrying on the tax audit and filing of income tax return is not being received promptly, resulting in inefficiency in conducting the audit.

4. Prone to COVID-19

The problem isn’t only with professionals getting infected, but how prone they are to get infected with cases rising every day. Visiting any audit place during this time exposes them to the virus, making them all prone to getting infected with the same. Many senior citizens including senior-aged professionals and senior aged assesses are also advised to stay at home, further reducing the staff capacity.

 

5. Clash with GSTR 9 and GSTR 9C

Apart from the above reasons, the due date to file the Tax Audit Report is clashing with the due date to file GSTR 9 and GSTR 9C i.e. 31st October 2020. This has put professionals in a very challenging position since most offices don’t have different departments or different employees for audit reports and return filing. This, coupled with all the above reasons has put an uncalled pressure on Chartered Accountants, Tax Advocates, and Tax Practitioners in the middle of a pandemic.

These hindrances are making it extremely difficult for professionals to file returns within the specified due date. Thus, there have been numerous requests for extending the due date of various returns for AY 2020-21. These include:

 

Return

Current Due Date

Requested Due Date by professionals

Tax Audit Report

31st October 2020

31st January 2021 or 28th February 2021

Income Tax Return

30th November 2020

31st March 2021

Do you think the Central Board of Direct Taxes will extend the due date for filing of Tax Audit Report and Income Tax Return? Do you think such an extension in the due date for return filing should be made?


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Category Income Tax
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Aishna Kukreja 

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