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Income Tax returns filing deadline not extended; CBDT warns of fake email
September, 29th 2015

There is no extension in the date of filing of audit report and the return of income for the Assessment Year 2015-16. Yes, you have heard it right – it’s 30 September as was announced by the government and not 15 October as being claimed by a message in circulation on social media.

No deadline extension. ThinkStockNo deadline extension. ThinkStock

The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has cautioned the taxpayers and practitioners not to wait till 15 October in order to file their audit report and return of Income for the Assessment Year 2015-16, but to get it done by 30 September.

Issuing an order today, the CBDT has clarified that it has not extended the due date for filing of tax returns and audit report and the last date stands to be 30 September, as announced in the past.

The finance ministry had to issue this cautionary note as a fake order in the name of the CBDT in an official format is in circulation signed by an under secretary Upmanyu Reddy, states that the due date for filing of audit report and return of Income for Assessment Year 2015-16 has been extended to 15 October 2015.

"It has been brought to the notice of the Government that a fake order dated 26 September 2015 supposedly under section 119 of the Income Tax (I-T) Act 1961 under the signature of one Upmanyu Reddy, Under Secretary to the Government of India is in circulation. The fake order extends the due date for filing of audit report under section 119 of the I-T Act to 15 October 2015," said Shefali Shah, principal commissioner of Income Tax and spokesperson, CBDT in a statement issued by the board.

Stating the previous (read fake) order as fraudulent, Shah added, "It is clarified the order is fraudulent. The Government has not extended the due date for filing of returns and audit report due by 30 September 2015. Taxpayers and practitioners are advised not to give any credence to the fraudulent order purportedly signed by one Upamanyu Reddy."

Another interesting part of the fake order is that it bears the logo of the government of India, but mentions that the order has been issued from the CBDT office in 'West Block'. It’s a known fact that the Ministry of Finance that houses the CBDT is in the North Block. In fact there are only two blocks – North Block that has two ministries -- finance and home affairs, whereas the other South Block, has the defence ministry and the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO). There’s no East or West block.

“There’s no Under Secretary by the name of Upmanyu Reddy in the department as mentioned in the fake order,” a source in the Department of Revenue told Firstpost.

Chartered accountant Abhishek Aneja said, "This fake order circulating on social media had created confusion which will now be put to rest by the official order released by the CBDT. However, the confusion created over the weekend which will take some time to clear off as many people may have taken it seriously."

The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) in a meeting held on 22 September had urged Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to extend the date of filing of I-T Returns and tax audit reports to 31 October from 30 September, which eventually didn’t happen.

"This fake circular has come at a time when several representations have been made by the ICAI for extension of the date as well as the matter is also pending before various high courts of India, where the writ petitions have been filed by different associations and persons. The case for extension has been made out as the tax filing forms were released late (in the end of July) this time leaving lesser time in the hands of the tax practitioners and auditors for completion of the work," said Aneja.

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