Shri Arun Jaitely
Minister Of Finance
Govt. Of India, New Delhi
Ref; Press note dated 09.09.2015 rejecting demand for extension for Tax Audits Dates and CBDT unjustified adamancy to go ahead with Tax Audit Last Date 30th September 2015.
Your attention has been drawn for seeking extension of the Tax Audit date of 30th September 2015 on a ground of totally unjustified expectations from the fraternity of Chartered Accountants to complete their job within 23 days against statutory availability of 183 days.
The wind blew my words away from you. The same have been landed at the bureaucrat dustbin though the same was marked for you and PMO. So while I told you the fraternity needs you, the phrase was carried in the opposite direction and landed in the ears of a confused bureaucrat. They didn’t waste the precious time and issued a press note rejecting a popular demand from the fraternity to extend the dates. “Isn’t that the greatest tragedy? They have rejected our demand, no matter how they abuse our requests, but ultimately it’s their loss because the desired qualitative results cannot be delivered in such a short span of 23 days. Your attention is once again drawn as the time is less and a decision should reach us in time.
Rejection is a challenge and last year also we have witnessed a spade of extension petitions at various High Courts and all the high Courts have supported the demand of extension of TAR. CBDT then acted and did it. The reason was wrong going at the part of CBDT and the same is going on in the same spirit. There is a no check or accountability at their level. Kindly order them for a judicious decision rather than a stereotype explanation for non extension. More or less situation and circumstances are same.
In addition to such, there are many festivals in the row. Ganpati Bapappa Maurya Festival shall be there from 17th to 27th September, Bakra eid is about to celebrate around 25th of September . The timings are poor for conducting the audit work. This situation arises and having a straight impact of releasing the late release of ITRs after four months from the beginning of the assessment order. The fraternity knows the time management, but his year the releasing of ITR lately and changes in the company law; the work is surely being time consuming. It requires in-depth study of each and every document produced before us for our audit. So the extension of Tax Audits be there so that we can complete the qualitative reports ultimately a qualitative support in the hands of the assessing officer shall boost the economy indirectly and it shall be a supportive document to assess it thoroughly and fairly.
We strongly protest the rejection of our demand of extension of TAR and first ever repeated tweeting from the Finance Ministry for non- extension of the date. We strongly protest the reasons given for non extension of time. The press note clearly mentioned that the forms were enabled and were available on the e-filing website of the Department from 7th August 2015 giving enough time for compliance. Is 23 days can be treated as enough time? Out of 23 days last 2 days, the site crashed and at the end, the CBDT has extended the date for 7 days. Now 23 days are here again, but this time these days are for Tax Audits, which is not a simple uploading exercise. On the other hand, the delay of 128 days in releasing the ITRs has all justification on their part, but they don’t find any justification in extending the Tax audit Dates.
There are ample reasons that why this date be extended. Some of the points are briefed here for your consideration.
a. The restriction on availability of 23 days, though the law allows us 183 days. This is a gross violation of constitutional and fundamental right of the assessee. This year, the July work load has shifted to august not on the sweet will of CBDT but because of non availability of ITR for filling. The delay of 108 days in notifying the ITRs should be matched with the TAR filling.
b. The issuing of the DSC is taking seven days and has to pass through meaningless numerous verifications. In the last days the situation shall deteriorate further and there may not be timely issuance of DSC.
c. The CBDT has taken 14 months to draw an ITR which was not having much changes, but for them 40 Lacs Tax audits can be completed within a short time of their choice.
d. There is a severe penalty into late filing. If there is adamancy at the part of CBDT then this penalty could be nullified in this year. You are working to ease with business, which in my opinion shall serve the very purpose of doing ease business.
e. Our regulator has made a timely appeal to you to extend the due date for tax audits, but the same have not been cleared by you. The regulator is a mouthpiece of 150000 practicing Chartered Accountants, that voice be heard and taken care. Your Government always talks about the Institutional autonomy so where is the recognition of such voice. The dates related to audits must be declared after considering their view point on a year to year basis. This shall be a true recognition of our autonomous institution.
We are also human beings and the set target can only be achieved if we do a formality of audit. The new era has started under the humble leadership, but it seems that the era is going to be proving the era of dictators as no justified decision is coming at least from the Ministry of Finance. The last year extension order u/s 119 of the Income Tax speaks about the whole story. With this mindset we are not going towards progressive economy rather are being forced to confine with the old toughest attitude. Taxation is all about collecting the money in time but it is being used as a measure to press the public at large.
Kindly take a timely decision and please instruct them to issue the extension dates in time within ten days, so that the assessee shall be able to walk with a high head because of good government in office.
CA AMRESH VASHISHT, Meerut
(About the Author– Author was Member of ICAI- Regional Research Committee 2013-14 and ICAI- Committee For Direct Taxes 2011-12 and can be reached at email firstname.lastname@example.org or on phone Phone: 0 1 2 1-2 6 6 1 9 4 6. Cell: 9 8 3 7 5 1 5 4 3 2 having office at 1 1 5, Chappel Street, Meerut Cantt, UP, INDIA)