Government extends deadline for e-filing of income tax returns

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Government had extended the deadline for e-filing of income returns and audit reports till October 31, 2015. It is for a special category of taxpayers, assessed under section 44AB of the Income Tax Act. The government has decided that across the country and earlier the deadline for e-filing was 30 September, 2015. It was to avoid discrimination between taxpayers residing in different jurisdictions and to be fair to all and also in view of paucity of time to approach Supreme Court by way of Special Leave Petition.

The issue of extension of last date for e-filing returns of income and audit reports under this category by the earlier stated deadline has been the subject matter of litigation in various High Courts across the country. While some High Courts have ruled in favour of the extension of due date, some others have ruled otherwise.

The Income Tax department had in June notified a new set of Income Tax return (ITR) forms for assessment year 2015-16, after the government decided to modify the forms following concerns rose over them. The department through its portal has electronically verified over 32.95 lakh e-returns.

The Income Tax department has received 2.06 crore returns, which is an increase of 26.12 per cent over last year on its e-filing portal. In the financial year 2015-16, the department has received 2.06 crore returns on the e-filing portal as on September 7, 2015, that is an increase of 26.12 percent over the corresponding period of 2014-15, when 1.63 crore returns were e-filed.

The move, as informed by the officials, has come after the Punjab and Haryana High Court had ruled against the I-T department on 28th September and asked the CBDT to extend the deadline.The section 44AB of the I-T Act talks about the provisions relating to those taxpayers who are required to get their accounts audited from a Chartered Accountant (CA).

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