Request for Extension of due dates of Income tax returns & Tax audit reports for FY 2020-21 (AY 2021-22)

All Odisha Tax Advocates Association

Dated, the 27th of December, 2021

To
Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman,
Hon’ble Minister of Finance,
Government of India, North Block,

New Delhi-110001

Sub:- Request for extension of due date for filing return of income of the assessees & TARs for the AY-2021-2022.

Ref:-Circular No. 17 of 2021 dated-09/09/2021.

Respected Madam,

In inviting a reference to the subject cited above we, the members of All Odisha Tax Advocates Association, draw your kind attention to the following points for your kind consideration and sympathetic orders:-

01. That the Ministry of Finance, Government of India, after considering the difficulties faced by the assessees as well as Tax Professionals, was pleased to extend the due date for filing of return of income of the assessees and due date for furnishing Tax Audit Report(s) and returns with TARs for the assessment year 2021-22 vide Circular No.17 of 2021 dated-09/09/2021.

02. That the corona pandemic has greatly affected human being, OMICRON threat has created panic among the assessees and the Tax Professionals. The Government is giving emphasis on taking extensive precautions such as use mask, maintain social distancing, don’t go outside if it is not so important and so on. Night curfew and containment zone has been declared in some areas.

03. That the Bank Statements are not made available to all the assessees to cross verify the entries with the books of accounts, Form No.26-AS/AIS/TIS.

04. That some of the staff of the Tax Professionals, Auditors and accountants of the assessees are also suffering from COVID-19 and staying in home and hence the audit of accounts could not be completed so far. There are many instances where some of the staff of the Tax Professionals as well as the Auditors has lost their lives due to the pandemic.

05. That assesses who are Senior Citizens cannot dare to move outside to contact their Consultants or Auditors.

06. That it is not out of place to mention here that the utilities and it’s updation for the income tax returns and Form No.3CB, 3CD etc. were made available gradually instead of in the month of April’2021as per direction of the High Court since the new company was engaged by the Finance Department in the middle of the year.

09. That all the amendments of new forms will further require time for the assessees and professionals to be acquainted with the changes for proper compliance. Actually the filling of returns started of late.

10. That the Income Tax Portal is so slow that it takes eight hours to upload three/four returns in a day. Other technical difficulties faced by the Tax Professionals are as under:-

(a) Since the pages in the portal are designed with icons not in lines, hence it takes more time in scrolling.

(b) ITR-V is not verified even after getting the OTP.

(c) It is a persisting problem that OTP comes after 10 to 15 minutes.

(d) While clicking the OTP a question goes to the mobile of the assessee, which takes more time to verify.

(e) At the time of preparing return the site gets disappeared automatically asking to re-login with a note “unauthorized”, which takes more time to complete the job.

(f) After preparing the return when the assessee goes to file the same clicking the ‘proceed’ button it takes time in scrolling.

(g) One third of the space in the screen doesn’t contain any data for which it takes more time in scrolling to view the data.

(h) At the same time in some of the screens there are only one to two space icons to add the data.

(i) TDS figure is not fully self-populated for which the assessee has to pay more tax than what is due from him.

11. That it is very much essential to carefully consider the information contained in Form No.26AS/AIS/TIS and reconcile the same. This will require additional efforts and time for the assessees as well as the Tax Professionals for identifying and resolving the disputes reported.

12. That most of the assessees of Odisha are seriously affected due to cyclones like ‘Yaas” and “Jawad”, high flood and continuous rain on account of low pressure during 2021. Moreover, interruption in power supply and internet facility has hampered the normal work and as such the delay in uploading the various return forms.

13. That all the points discussed above are making it practically impossible for most of our members to adhere to the revised dates as per the Notification of the Ministry of Finance, Government of India dated-09/09/2021.

14. That although the CBDT has extended the due dates for filing of the IT Returns to 31/12/2021 and TARs to 15/01/2022, but considering the Nationwide situation, it is not at all possible for the assessees to file the returns, get the accounts audited and file the returns with audited accounts by the extended due date as per Circular dated-09/09/2021.

We therefore most earnestly request your Honour to consider the genuine difficulties of the assessees and Tax Professionals and be generous to pass an order to extend the due date of filing of the return of income of the assessees to 28/02/2022 in place of 31/12/2021 and the TARs from 15/01/2022 to 28/02/2022 and for filing the income tax returns with TARs from 15/02/2022 to 31/03/2022 for the A.Y- 2021-2022. If above suggestion is beyond the purview of the Ministry then at least late filing fee may not be levied on the assessees till 31/03/2022 since the delay is not at all attributable to them.

An early action on this aspect will be highly appreciated.

For & on behalf of

All Odisha Tax Advocates Association

(Natabar Panda)

Working Secretary

C.C:- (1) The Chairman, CBDT, North Block, New Delhi-110001,

(2) The Principal Chief Commissioner of Income Tax, Odisha Region, Bhubaneswar for information and necessary action.

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