Failure to file ITR on Grounds of Illness and Demise of CA: Madras HC Condones Delay of 927 Days [Read Order]

Upon examination, it was revealed that the former Chartered Accountant's illness was insufficiently considered by the Income tax department.
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In a recent ruling, the Madras High Court condoned the delay of 927 days. The court considered the failure to file the Income Tax Returns ( ITR ) on grounds of illness and subsequent  demise of the CA of the petitioner as genuine hardship.

This writ petition challenged the rejection of an application under Section 119(2)(b) of the Income Tax Act, 1961. The petitioner, cited the prolonged illness and subsequent demise of their former Chartered Accountant, as reasons for filing an application for condonation of delay for the assessment year 2020-21. Despite establishing bona fide reasons, the application was rejected by order dated 23.02.2024.

The petitioner, represented by counsel, asserted that the delay was not due to seeking refund or exemption but to file the return along with applicable taxes and interest. Evidence including a doctor’s certificate and death certificate were provided to support this claim. However, the respondents argue that the delay was not adequately explained, emphasising a delay of 927 days.

Upon examination, it was revealed that the former Chartered Accountant’s illness was insufficiently considered, and the petitioner’s previous returns were deemed belated despite being filed within extended timeframes. Considering these factors, the court deemed the petitioner’s case worthy of condoning the delay for genuine hardship, setting aside the impugned order.

Consequently, the order dated 23.02.2024 was annulled by a Single bench of Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy and the delay in filing the return for assessment year 2020-21 was condoned. The respondents were instructed to receive and process the petitioner’s return, provided they pay interest and late filing fees as per the law. The court also directed the respondents to grant access to the income tax portal for the petitioner to upload the return.

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