Uttarakhand High Court directs CBDT to leniently consider representation on Extension of due date for filing Tax Audit Reports & Income Tax Returns [Read Judgment]

Uttarakhand High Court - CBDT - due date for filing Tax Audit Reports - Income Tax Returns - Taxscan

The Uttarakhand High Court while keeping in mind the hardships suffered due to COVID-19 pandemic, directed the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT)  to leniently consider representation on the extension of due date for filing Tax Audit Report and Income Tax Return.

The Dehradun Chartered Accountants Society has filed this PIL with the prayer to issue a writ, order or direction in the nature of mandamus, directing the Government and CBDT to extend the due date of filing the Tax Audit Report and Income Tax Return for the assessment year 2021-21, both for tax audit assessee and for non-tax audit assessee for a reasonable time, at least till March 31, 2021.

Mr. Piyush Garg, the counsel for the petitioner said that due to nationwide COVID- 19 pandemic, the income tax assessees have not been able to file their Income Tax Return on the dates specified by the Government. Keeping in mind the hardship being faced by the income tax assessees, repeatedly, the Government had extended the dates for filing the Income Tax Return by the assessee.

However, presently, the dates specified by the Government are January 10, 2021 for the non-tax assesses, and January 15, 2021 for filing the Tax Audit Reports to the tax assesses, and February 15, 2021 for filing the Income Tax Return.

Moreover, despite the fact that the Chartered Accountants Society of Uttarakhand and the other Chartered Accountants Societies, throughout the country, have filed representations before the respondents, the respondents have, so far, not agreed to extend the date for filing the Income Tax Return.

On the other hand, Mr. Hari Mohan Bhatia, the counsel for the CBDT urged that an identical issue has been raised before the High Court of Gujarat at Ahmedabad and even in that case, representations were filed wherein High Court of Gujarat has dismissed the Special Civil Application.

The division bench headed by the Chief Justice, Raghvendra Singh Chauhan observed that the country continues to suffer and to reel under the COVID-19 pandemic. A large number of assesses still find it difficult to even meet their Chartered Accountants and to file their Income Tax Audit Reports and the Income Tax Returns.

Therefore, the Court directed CBDT to leniently consider the representation after giving an opportunity of hearing to the petitioner and to pass a reasoned order thereupon.

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