The Supreme Court yesterday directed tax payers all over the country to file returns under the prescribed new forms for assessment year 2007-08 by February 29, 2008 - the new deadline set by the government.
The direction was passed after Additional Solicitor General Mohan Parasaran informed the bench headed by Justice B N Agarwal that the Centre was issuing a notification today extending the time for filing returns till February 29, next year in relation to all categories of assessees.
The bench also set aside the Allahabad High Court order that allowed business class and professionals having income below Rs 20 lakh to file tax returns under both SARAL-2D and new return forms for the assessment year.
It held that it was not impressed by the submission of the respondent, Income-Tax Bar Association, Lucknow, that there should be some modifications in the new prescribed form.
"It is for the statutory authority to decide the type of forms. The Union of India has stated that the time for filing of returns under the prescribed form has been extended till February 28, 2008 in relation to all categories of assessees.
Earlier, the apex court on October 30 had allowed UP tax payers to file returns under 2D Saral Form as well as the new forms for assessment year 2007-08 to avoid inconvenience to tax payers who were trying to meet the October 31 deadline for filing returns.
The Union Ministry of Finance had moved the court seeking a stay on the High Court's interim order dated July 30 that allowed businessmen and professionals having income below Rs 20 lakh to file tax returns under both SARAL-2D and the new return forms for assessment year 2007-08.