UPDATE ON 14.09.2015

High Court has not accepted the Writ and said that the  issue involved partakes the character of Public interest and Appellant should have filed Public Interest Litigation (PIL) instead of Writ Petition. High Court has allowed assessee to file PIL.

What Next

We will keep updating you on the issue and also on other writs which are being filed through out the country for Tax Audit Due Date Extension.

10.09.2015

CA Avinash Gupta and Tax Research Foundation, Delhi has filed a Writ petition in Delhi High Court on 10.09.2015, seeking Extension of due date of Tax Audit Report required to be filed Under Section 44AB of the Income Tax Act,1961 for Assessment Year 2015-16.

Writ details are as follows :- Avinash Gupta and Ors V/s Union of India and Ors  (Delhi High Court) ,  WP(C.) of 8771 of 2015.

Writ is likely to be listed in Court Room No. 09 on coming Monday i.e. on 14th day of September, 2015.

It is to be noted that last year too many Chartered Accountants & Tax Association has filed writ petition in various High Courts across India and got the due date extended.

This Year CBDT has already rejected any possibility of Due date extension vide its Press Release dated 09th September 2015 which has drawn several criticism from those Associated with Tax Audit Related work.

In the coming Various Tax association from Other parts of Countries and Chartered accountants are also likely to move to other High Courts to get the Tax Audit and Return Filing date extended.

We are attaching herewith Draft of Writ Filed in Delhi High Court and also reproducing below the Grounds on which the writ been filed for the benefit of our readers –

GROUNDS OF APPEAL

A. Because the decision of the Respondent No.1 and 2 vide its Press Release Dated 09.09.2015 by virtue of which, the Respondents has denied to extend the date for filing of returns due by 30.09.2015 for Assessment Year 2015-2016 for certain categories of Assesses including Companies, and Firms and, Individuals Engaged in Proprietary Business/Profession etc., whose Accounts are required to be Audited in terms of section 44AB of the Income Tax Act 1961, is unreasonable, unjust, arbitrary, illegal and unconstitutional and that the same is inter-alia, in violation and contravention to Article 14, and Article 19 (1) (g) of the Constitution of India, as the same is infringing the fundamental rights of equality, trade and profession which is guaranteed under the Constitution of India.

B. Because the Respondent No.1 and 2 ought to have extended the date of filing of Returns due by 30th September for Assessment Year 2015-2016 for Categories of Assesses Including Companies, and Firms and, Individuals Engaged in Proprietary Business /Profession etc., whose Accounts are required to be Audited u/s 44AB of The Income Tax Act, 1961 from 30.09.2015 to 31.12.2015, on the account of belated notification of the Income Tax Form with the exorbitant delay.

C. Because the decision of the Respondent No.1 and 2 as mentioned in the said Press Release is inter-alia unreasonable, arbitrary, unjustified and unconstitutional, as the same is causing grave prejudice and harassment, not only to the concerned Tax Payers but also for the Chartered Accountants community at large, who are responsible for conducting the tax audit and further to file the same alongwith the Income Tax Return in accordance with Law, in as much as in the given facts and circumstances the time left to make compliance of Section 44 AB of Income Tax Act has been reduced, as the Respondents much after 01.04.2015, has belatedly notified the Income Tax Forms for respective categories of Tax Payers.

D. Because the Tax Payer as well as the Respondents expect from the Chartered Accountant a 100% compliance with zero tolerance while make compliances under the Income Tax Act, however it is not possible to justify the role to the full extent in just 23 days, as the Income Tax Return for the Assesses/Tax Payers not liable for Audit, were being filed till 07.09.2015, in terms of the period of filing ITR being extended by the Respondents on account of delay in notification of ITR Forms.

E. Because the most affected category of Tax Payers has been the Assesses including Companies, and Firms and, Individuals Engaged in Proprietary Business/Profession etc., whose Accounts are required to be Audited in terms of the Income Tax Act 1961 and who suffered a delay in notification of forms and consequent reduction of time wherein the delay in notifying the forms by the Respondents has reduced the time of filing Income Tax Return by 122 to 128 days respectively.

F. Because the Respondent No.1 and 2 has acted against the constitutional Right of Equality under Article 14 of the Constitution inter-alia in as much as the Respondents suo-motu has though given a benefit of extension of time to the Assesses/Tax Payers not liable for Audit till 07.09.2015 (though as per law the last date is 31.07.2015). However, similar such benefit has not been given to Assesses/Tax Payers liable for Audit u/s 44AB.

G. Because inter-alia due to the unjust prejudice and harassment being caused on account of the aforesaid reduction in time, various representations were filed before the Respondents inter-alia by Institute of Chartered Accountants of India. However, the Respondents without any application of mind and in highly unjust, arbitrary and unconstitutional manner did not consider the said representations and denied to extend the time for filing the date of Income Tax Return from 30.09.2015 to any further date vide its said Press Release Dated 09.09.2015.

H. Because as per Section 139 (1) of the Income Tax Act,1961, the Income Tax Return of every financial year ending on 31st March, should be filed in the assessment year by following dates of different categories of Tax Payers:

Sr. No. Category of Assesse Date of filing ITR Time available for filing ITR
1. Assesses not liable for Audit under Income Tax Act or any other Act. 31st July 122 days
2. Assesses liable for Audit under Income Tax Act or any other Act (except mentioned in Serial No.3) 30th September 183 days
3. Assesses covered under transfer pricing regulations 30th November 244   days

That accordingly, as per law, the respective Forms under which the respective categories of Tax Payers are required to file their respective Income Tax Return, has to be duly made available to respective categories of Tax Payers on the very first day of the assessment year, so that every tax payer, duly know the manner/prescribed format in which the Income Tax Return is required to be filed and accordingly have sufficient time to further file the Income Tax Return in the prescribed format.

I. Because the Respondent No.1 and 2 despite knowing well the essence of time in filing Income Tax Returns, under the garb of alleged reforms and ease of doing business has deliberately failed to notify the prescribed income tax return forms for respective categories of Tax Payers.

J. Because the Respondent No.1 and 2 notified the Income Tax Return Forms for all types of Assesses (auditable and non-auditable) at a belated stage, on different dates being as under:

Sr. No. Forms for the Category of Assesse Date of Notification of Forms Date of enabling E-Filing Reduction in Time (Days)
1. ITR 1 & 4S 23.06.2015 23.06.2015    83
2. ITR 2 & 2A 23.06.2015 29.06.2015    89
3. ITR 3,4 & 7 29.07.2015 01.08.2015    122
4. ITR 5 29.07.2015 02.08.2015    123
5. ITR 6 29.07.2015 07.08.2015    128

It is submitted that on account of the said delay on the part of Respondents in notifying the said Forms, the Tax Payers of the respective categories has suffered a grave prejudice, as due to the same, the respective Forms were not available to the respective categories of Tax Payers, as on 01.04.2015. It is submitted that on 01.04.2015, the right of every tax payer, duly accrues to know the manner/prescribed format in which the Income Tax Return is required to be filed and the right to further file the Income Tax Return in the prescribed format, which ought to have been made available on 01.04.2015. That as is apparent from the aforesaid chart, due to the said belated notification of forms, the different categories of tax payers have suffered and prejudiced on account of reduction in time in preparing and filing the Income Tax Return.

K. Because while notifying the Income Tax Forms for Assesses not liable for Audit under Income Tax Act, the Respondents acknowledging the fact of reduction in time for filing ITR for 81 days, suo-motu extended the date of filing ITR for the said category initially by 31 days i.e 31.08.2015 and further extended the said date by another 7 days i.e 07.09.2015.

L. Because the Ministry of Corporate Affairs came out with various notifications/clarifications in the new Companies Act, 2013, which has direct implications on the filing of Income Tax Return and the Audit of the Companies under Income Tax Act, 1961. It is also pertinent to mention that the provisions of the said enactment are being made applicable for the first time, while preparing the Annual Accounts of the Corporate Entities.

Further, in this vague situation and circumstances, the most affected category of Tax Payers has been the Assesses including Companies, and Firms and, Individuals Engaged in Proprietary Business/Profession etc., whose Accounts are required to be Audited in terms of the Income Tax Act 1961 and who suffered a delay in notification of forms and consequent reduction of time wherein the delay in notifying the forms by the Respondents has reduced the time of filing Income Tax Return by 122 to 128 days respectively.

Download Copy of Writ Petition Filed in Delhi High Court

(Republished with Further updates)

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