CA Bodies Urge Extension of Deadline to 31 March 2021 for Filing Income Tax, GST Returns and Other Audits
Moneylife Digital Team 17 December 2020
Several bodies representing chartered accountants (CAs) from across the country have requested finance minister (FM) Nirmala Sitharaman to extend the deadlines for filing returns for income-tax (I-T), goods and services tax (GST) and other audit forms in view of the hardships caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. 
The CA bodies have been requesting extension of deadlines from time to time. In the latest representation, they have requested the FM to direct the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) to extend all the due dates for assessment year (AY)2020-21 to 31 March 2021.
The letter is signed by presidents of Bombay Chartered Accountants’ Society (BCAS), Chartered Accountants Association of Ahmedabad, Chartered Accountants Association of Surat, Karnataka State Chartered Accountants’ Association and Lucknow Chartered Accountants’ Society. 
It says, "Most professionals and their client tax payers are of the view that it is very difficult to meet the various deadlines for income-tax compliances as their focus right now is on getting their operations on track. Most of the business establishments as well as tax professionals are finding it difficult to operate at full capacity. The shortage of manpower has paralysed the continuity of work. All such issues are making it virtually impossible for most of our members and the taxpayers to adhere to the revised due dates of 31 December 2020."
According to the CA bodies, apart from the major issues arising due to COVID-19 pandemic hampering compliances regarding filing of income tax return (ITR) forms and tax audit reports (TAR), and certain concerns like delay in the release of online e-filing utilities and continuous and regular updation in the schemas of the ITR/TAR form filing utility. Detailed information to be provided in notified ITR forms requires time, which needs to be kept in mind for considering extension of the due dates, it added.
The current due date for filing the annual reconciliation statement (GSTR9C) along with the annual return (GSTR9) for financial years 2018-2019 and 2019-2020 is 31 December 2020.
The CA bodies point out that for FY 2019-2020, the due dates for filing the financial statements with various regulatory authorities has been extended. "Therefore, in the absence of finalised audited financial statements, the process of GST Audit cannot begin. Further, the GST portal has enabled the filing of the GST Audit Reports for FY19-20 only a few days back."
"In view of the above-mentioned genuine difficulties faced by tax payers of the country, we humbly request you to kindly direct the CBDT to extend all the deadlines under the Income-tax Act for AY2020-21 to 31 March 2021 and to extend the due dates for FY18-19 and 2019-20 under GST Act also to 31 March 2021," the representations says.
1 year ago
I hope this request to extend the deadline beyond 31st December, is accepted. Truly hards times.
Replied to bajaj3 comment 1 year ago
The Govt should not be collecting penalty of Rs 10000 For late filing of return when they know this is an unusual situation. Do we need to explain?
Replied to drarunbajaj06 comment 1 year ago
Yes, indeed this is dumb and numb Government who is either serious in elections or collecting revenue in the form of taxes, they don't have any concern or sympathy relating to situation of nation. We all know that they will extend the date but at the last moment when all the taxpayer and professional get exhausted in every manner. What a rubbish condition of the Govt system.
Replied to sanjaykumar0013 comment 1 year ago
Yes they should consider extension seriously. It is really hard time for taxpayers and professional.
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