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Request to adopt a humane approach in handling the extension of due dates in the times of the pandemic by The Chamber of Tax Consultants

Posted on 05 January 2021

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The Chamber of Tax Consultants has written a representation letter to the Ministry of Finance and CBDT to adopt a humane approach in handling the extension of due dates and have requested for the following extended due dates:

1. The due dates for filing of Tax Audit, Transfer Pricing Audit, and other reports to February 28, 2021, from January 15, 2021;

2. The due dates for filing of Income Tax Return to March 31, 2021, from January 10, 2021, or February 15, 2021, as the case may be;

3. The due date under VSV to February 28, 2020

Read the official representation letter below:

3rd January, 2021

To,

1. Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman,
Hon'ble Finance Minister,
Government of India,North Block,
Delhi - 110 001

2. Shri Ajay Bhushan Prasad Pandey
Hon'ble Revenue Secretary,
Central Board of Direct Taxes,
North Block,
Delhi - 110 001

3. Shri Pramod Chandra Mody
Chairman,
Central Board of Direct Taxes,
North Block,
Delhi - 110 001

Respected Madam / Sirs,

Sub: Extension of various due dates for compliances under the Income-tax Act, 1961 (‘The Act') - Request to adopt humane approach in handling the extension of due dates in the times of the pandemic.

Ref: (i) Notification dated 31sth December 2020
(ii) Our earlier Representations dated 07.10.2020 and 11.12.2020

 

1. The Chamber of Tax Consultants (CTC), Mumbai, was established in 1926. CTC is one of the oldest (94 years old) voluntary non-profit making organizations in Mumbai formed with the object of educating and updating its members on Tax and other laws. It has robust membership strength of about 4000 professionals comprising of Advocates, Chartered
Accountants and Tax Practitioners. It has from time to time made various representations to different Government Authorities drawing their attention to pressing issues.

2. This representation seeks to highlight the plight of lakhs of assessees and tax practitioners / tax auditors on account of very short extension of various due dates under the Income - tax Act, 1961 [“the Act”] and under Direct Tax Vivad se Vishwas, 2020 ["VSV"] as announced in the above referred Notification.

3. Madam, the havoc created by the on-going pandemic on account of COVID 19 all around is well known and well documented and, therefore, hardly requires any elaboration. Even though the statistics may appear to show some declining trend, that too, of late, the ground realities show that the situation is not normal for business and professional establishments, even for the courts and Parliament and State legislatures across India, as the country is still under various phases of lockdowns and reeling under the catastrophic effects of the pandemic. For example, talking about Mumbai, the commercial capital of India, the local train services are the life line of the city and with is closure for normal public for more than nine months now, to keep any establishment fully functional is not only extremely difficult but impossible; more so with small establishments involving clerical and junior level staff. The recent development about emergence of the mutated strain of the virus has added misery to the plight. Further, even within the limited relaxations, the personal, social and psychological factors have kept many establishments still not fully operational. More specifically and for the limited purpose of this representation, suffice will be here to mention that the keeping in mind the exhaustive checking and reporting goes for a tax audit, the functioning of the office of the assessees and the tax auditors have greatly impaired; especially for small and medium level establishments that constitute a vast majority.

4. This extraordinary situation led to submission of numerous representations across India for extending the due dates for filing of returns of income, tax audits, etc. as well as under VSV. This also included filing of writ petitions before high courts. For the sake of brevity and to avoid repetitions, the reasons and the contentions in the writ petitions are not repeated herein but we refer and relay upon them for this representation as well. More particularly, we refer to the Writ Petition (L) No. 5092 of 2020 and Writ Petition (L) No. 10008 of 2020 filed before the Bombay High Court, wherein various problems being faced by the stakeholders, particularly in the matter of tax audits, are highlighted.

To view / download the complete representation letter, find the enclosed attachment

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