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Central Board of Direct Taxes extends deadline for electronic tax returns
September, 30th 2013

After facing severe opposition for last minute changes in the utility tool for filing income tax returns for the assessment year 2013-14, Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has extended the deadline for filing returns to October 31, 2013 from September 30. However auditors, who are made responsible for filing returns of individuals or companies will have to file the report physically before September 30 to acoid penalties.

The decision added to the confusion of CAs and auditors as two of the four days left till the deadline are a weekend. There is no clarification by the Income Tax department on whether the office will work this weekend or not. Auditors and CAs fear long queues for filing physical audit reports because of this.

CBDT under Section 119(2)(A) of the IT Act, 1961 read with Section 139 and Rule 12 announced a relaxation in the requirement for filing audit reports electronically before September 30 and allowed a one-month extension. CBDT clarified that the decision was taken keeping in mind problems faced by auditors and CA in uploading audit reports electronically, due to eleventh hour amendments in the utility.

CA Ajit Shah says, "We expected an extension for filing audit reports both manually and electronically. CBDT has granted relaxation only in the date for filing electronically. Taxpayers and auditors who prefer filing returns on the last day will face a severe rush as on 28th and 29th, the I-T office will be shut for the weekend."

One chief commissioner said, "Keeping in mind the complaints, we extended the date for filing audit reports electronically, but those who fail to file it physically before September 30 will have to pay the due penalty." On whether the I-T office would remain open on Saturday and Sunday, he said "It is not decided yet."

The penalty for missing the date is 0.5% of turnover, to a maximum of Rs 1.5 lakh. Taxpayers under the ITR 4,5,6,7 which includes charitable and religious trusts, news agencies, research institutions, partnership firms, companies with turnovers over Rs 1 crore and individual professionals earning more than 25 lakh per year will be affected by the announcement.

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