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Extension of Income Tax and GST Due Dates amid Second Wave of COVID-19 - Need of the hour?

CA Sapna Ghelani 
on 29 April 2021

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There already has been a lot of chaos amongst the people of this nation regarding the Covid Pandemic where people are struggling to survive and stay healthy.

Keeping in view this situation, many Chartered Accountants and Professionals have appealed to the Government to extend the Return filing and tax compliances dates for the month of April-2021. They have also requested the Finance minister for waiver of penalty or interest for late filing compliances through writing an official letter or through various social media handles like Twitter with #ExtendDueDates which has been trending for some days.

The Covid-19 pandemic has forced many states to impose lockdowns, night curfews, restrictions of movements of people and disruption of transport systems, entries and exits in many States.

As a result, corporates and professionals are unable to complete the tasks as they are not able to regularly attend their offices. Working from home has its own limitations. Most professionals and their client taxpayers are of the view that it is very difficult to meet various deadlines for income-tax compliances as their focus right now is on getting their operations on track.

There are many compliances and filings which are due for this month - April 2021 and it is very difficult to comply with so many laws of State and Centre especially when there is no surety regarding the extent of lockdown and its uncertainty. Government should also waive penalty/interest due to delay in filing compliances under GST Act, Income Tax Act, Professional Tax, EPF, ESIC, Companies Acts and other laws.

Relief has been asked for some major GST and Income Tax Compliances like below -

Extension of Income Tax and GST Due Dates amid Second Wave of COVID-19 - Need of the hour

GST Compliances

GST Monthly Return for the month of March, April and May 2021

A request has been made to postpone the dates of GST Return Filing for the month of March, April and May 2021 to at least June End. Some of the taxpayers have also requested to extend it up to 6 months.

 

GST Annual Return

The GSTR 9/9C for the year ended 31.03.2021 is requested to be extended to 30.06.2021.

Along with it, a request for waiving off of interest and all penal provisions has also been made.

  • A request for the introduction of a GST Amnesty Scheme to settle pending cases has also been made.
  • A request for OTP based GST Return filing has been made for all kind of taxpayers -

In the current scenario, Digital Signature Certificates (DSC) is required for filing GST Return for body corporates and some other taxpayer.

There are some genuine reasons due to which the taxpayers are unable to use their DSCs like -

  • DSC is stocked with office staff that are infected due to Covid which will automatically impact GST Payment and Return filing
  • Taxpayers who wish to pay the tax are not able to file the return as their Digital Signature is stuck in offices that are closed due to the Covid pandemic.
  • Besides these, there are some major technical issues that the taxpayers face while attaching the DSC thus delaying return filing.

Therefore, OTP based mechanism should be allowed for ease of return filing.

 

Income Tax Compliances

Income Tax Returns of AY 2020-21

The belated returns and revised returns of Assessment Year 2020-21 has been requested to be postponed from 31.03.2021 to 30.06.2021. Professionals also complained about the non-working of the Income Tax Website on 31.03.2021 due to a technical glitch.

Filing of Statement of Financial Transaction Returns under Income Tax

SFT in Form 61A shall be submitted on or before 31 May of the Financial Year. It has been requested to postpone it to 31st July 2021.

TDS Return Filing and Payment Due Date

Deposits of TDS for the month of March 2021 whose due date is 30.04.2021. The payment of TDS and filing of returns has been requested to be postponed by one month each.

Companies Act

Extension of Company AGM due Date

The due date of company AGM is requested to be extended from 30.09.2021 to 31.12.2021.

Hoping that the government will understand the above requests of various professionals, small and medium enterprises, and shop keepers and will ease them with these heavy compliances.

Let me know what do you think about the extension of due dates? What other due dates are expected to be pushed forward by the Government?


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