NEW DELHI: On Saturday, in the midst of the ongoing Covid-19 crisis , the government extended the deadline for individual taxpayers to file income tax (I-T) returns until December 31 for the financial year 2019-20 (FY20). "'The due date for the provision of ITRs to other (individual) taxpayers [for whom, under the Income Tax Act of 1961, the due date (i.e. before the extension of the said notification) was 31 July 2020] has been extended to 31 December 2020," the Ministry of Finance said in a notification. In May, the Centre extended the ITR filing date for FY20 from July 31 to November 30. It also specified that "the due date for the provision of ITRs for taxpayers (including their partners) who are eligible to have their accounts audited has been extended to 31 January 2021 for whom the due date (i.e. before the extension of the said notification) under the Act is 31 October 2020."
The Ministry added that "the due date for the issuance of ITRs for taxpayers who are expected to report on international/specified domestic transactions [for which the due date (i.e. prior to the extension of the said notification) under the Act is 30 November 2020] has been extended to 31 January 2021." Accordingly, the date for the issuance of different audit reports, including the provision of different audit reports, has been extended to 31 January 2021. The due dates for payment have also been extended in relief to small and middle-class taxpayers in the matter of self-assessment tax payment.
Taxpayers who have not yet paid their full tax liability and are expected to pay self-assessment tax more than Rs 1 lakh would need to be careful and pay taxes within original due dates in order to avoid charging interest beyond the original due date for filing ITR. The government also extended the due date by two months until December 31st for the provision of GST annual returns for FY19 (2018-19). Only taxpayers with aggregate annual turnover above Rs 2 crore are required to furnish the GST annual return, while only registered persons with aggregate turnover above Rs 5 crore are required to furnish the reconciliation statement.
It must be noted that it is optional for taxpayers with aggregate turnover below Rs 2 crore to file an annual return (Form GSTR-9 / GSTR-9A) for 2018-19. For taxpayers with aggregate turnover up to Rs 5 crore, the filing of the reconciliation statement in form 9C for FY19 is also optional.