The Supreme Court directed tax payers all over the country to file Income Tax returns under the prescribed new ITR forms for assessment year 2007-08 by February 29, 2008 – the new deadline set by the government.
The direction was passed after Additional Solicitor General Mohan Parasaran informed the bench headed by Justice B N Agarwal that the Centre was issuing a notification today extending the time for filing returns till February 29, next year in relation to all categories of assessees.
The bench also set aside the Allahabad High Court order that allowed business class and professionals having income below Rs 20 lakh to file tax returns under both SARAL-2D and new return forms for the assessment year.
It held that it was not impressed by the submission of the respondent, Income-Tax Bar Association, Lucknow, that there should be some modifications in the new prescribed form.
“It is for the statutory authority to decide the type of forms. The Union of India has stated that the time for filing of returns under the prescribed form has been extended till February 28, 2008 in relation to all categories of assessees.
Earlier, the apex court on October 30 had allowed UP tax payers to file returns under 2D Saral Form as well as the new forms for assessment year 2007-08 to avoid inconvenience to tax payers who were trying to meet the October 31 deadline for filing returns.
The Union Ministry of Finance had moved the court seeking a stay on the High Court’s interim order dated July 30 that allowed businessmen and professionals having income below Rs 20 lakh to file tax returns under both SARAL-2D and the new return forms for assessment year 2007-08.
The news regarding extension of due date in respect of filing of returns of income for A.Y. 2007-08 has created confusion that the due date has been extended to 29.02.2008 for all assessees across the country but in fact it is not so. It is only for those assessees who have filed their returns in Form 2D on or after 14.05.2007 and only those have been given extended time to refile their returns in new forms. The press release issued by CBDT in this regard is appended for ready reference of the members.
No.402/92/2006- MC (56 of 2007)
Government of India
Ministry of Finance
Department of Revenue
Central Board of Direct Taxes
New Delhi dated the 14 th December 2007
The Central Board of Direct Taxes, vide notification S.O. No.762(E) dated 14 th May, 2007 for the Assessment Year 2007-08, substituted the old return forms by notifying eight new return forms under a new series ( ITR-1 to ITR-8). The validity of the said notification was challenged in different High Courts of the country.
The Hon’ble High Court of Allahabad (Lucknow Bench) had passed an interim order directing the Income-tax authorities to accept the returns filed in the Form No. 2D (Saral). Further, the Hon’ble High Court of Rajasthan (Jodhpur Bench) and the Hon’ble High Court of Guahati have also delivered similar interim judgements, following the decision of the Hon’ble High Court of Allahabad.
A Special Leave Petition (SLP) was filed in the Hon’ble Supreme Court against the decision of the Hon’ble High Court of Allahabad (Lucknow Bench). The Hon’ble Supreme Court, on 14.12.2007 has set-aside the order of the Hon’ble High Court of Allahabad (Lucknow Bench). In view of the above, the returns filed in the old forms on or after 14 th May, 2007 shall be treated as invalid returns.
In order to enable such assessees to submit their returns in the forms prescribed for the assessment year 2007-08, the Central Board of Direct Taxes has extended the due date for filing returns of income to
29.2.2008. This extension of due date is applicable to assessees, who have,- (i) filed the return of income for the A.Y.2007-08 on or after 14 th May, 2007; and (ii) filed the return in a form other than one of the forms notified for assessment year 2007-08( ITR-1 to ITR-8).
Consequently, such assessees would not be liable to any interest or penalty if they re-filed their returns in the forms prescribed for the assessment year 2007-08, on or before 29.02.2008.