The Income Tax Department today extended the deadline for individual assessees to file their returns for the Financial Year 2019-20 (Assessment Year 2020-21) by a month. With what comes as a relief to taxpayers on account of COVID-19, they now have until 31 December to file their return of income earned between 1 April 2019 and 31 March of this year, instead of 30 November.
For individuals needing accounts audit (for whom the due date as per the I-T Act is 31 October 2020), a new deadline of 31 January would apply, instead of 31 December.
The last date for assessees required to furnish audit reports on international or specified domestic transactions is now 31 January, not 30 November.
In a statement, the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) said, “The due date for furnishing of Income Tax Returns for the taxpayers [for whom the due date (that is before the extension by the said notification) as per the Act was 31 July] has been extended to December 31, 2020.”
The CBDT wishes to “provide more time to taxpayers for furnishing of income tax returns”, the top policy-making body of the income tax department said. The department acknowledged the “challenges faced by taxpayers in meeting the statutory and regulatory compliances due to the outbreak of COVID-19”.
In May, the government had extended the date for filing income tax returns for Financial Year 2019-20 to 30 November from 31 July. It had also moved the last date to furnish various audit reports — including tax audit report — to 31 October.
The I-T department extended the deadline for small taxpayers — or those with a tax liability up to Rs 1 lakh based on self-assessment — to 31 January.
In June, the taxman had also extended the due dates for payment of self-assessment taxes in cases of liabilities up to Rs 1 lakh, in a bid to provide relief to small- and middle-class taxpayers. The CBDT had fixed the due date of 30 November for cases with or without audit.