Due Date for tax return filing u/s 139 & for payment of SA- Tax u/s 140A- Taxpayer Pushed to the Wall !
Attention is drawn to the write-ups displayed @
In the write-up of 03-Aug, its author says:
However As per Circular No. 9 of 2021 Dated 20th May, 2021 or Order [F. No. 225/49/2021-ITA-II] if assessee has tax payable exceeding Rs. 1,00,000 then for the purpose of Section 234A due date extension is not applicable on him and Interest will be charged from 1st Aug 2021(Non-Audit Cases) or 1st Dec 2021 (Audit Cases) as the case may be but he can file his return up to 30th Sep 2021 and 30th Nov 2021 as the case may be.
In one’s perspective, the above cited observation, – so also several others, in many of the write-ups similarly displayed- and the conclusion reached/ message conveyed , are rather confusing; also, have rendered the prevailing confusion, in the minds of, besides taxpayers -clientele, their consulting / assisting professionals in practice, at large, as well, worse confounded !
2. WHY to say so (:
A) Such a conclusion has been reached/similar message conveyed, without any in-depth application of mind but based on mere superficial reading of the Circular.
b) What is chosen for a discussion by the writer is a ‘CIRCULAR’; which is clearly stated / purported to have been issued by the CBDT in exercise of its powers under sec 119.
c) As is stated, it is ‘Due to Covid 19’ that the CBDT on 20th May 2021 has extended the due dates for filing of Income Tax Return up to 30th Sep 2021 (Non Audit Cases) and 30th Nov 2021(Audit Cases).
Having done so, taxpayer could not conceivably have been reasonably expected to nonetheless prepare a tax return, and to have kept it ready, for filing, at the earliest on 31st July, or at any time before the extended due date; in any case, impossible to have done so, by 31st July 2021, being the same date as fixed also for payment of ‘SA’ tax.
That, therefore, -one would submit,- has been impudently done, blatantly ignoring, among others, the below mentioned attendant facts / field realities.
3. Under the new ITD portal, because of the admittedly numerous so called ‘tech. glitches’- still remaining to be resolved/remedied fully and successfully, – taxpayers have been left struggling to have uploaded and sent /reached to the CPC a return, even till date. That being so, no need to but still may add that, e’filing of a tax return, -correct and complete as mandated, even if taxpayer overzealously wanted to do, was not at all comprehensible or practicable.
For computing the total income, to be incorporated / uploaded in the tax return, tax payer should have had available, inter alia, Form 16A , Form 16 , the Data to be uploaded on the IT Portal – Form 26 AS, etc., etc.
However, the respective due dates having been, and stood, extended to different dates, for no fault of them, the requisite DATA (particulars of TDS and /or TCS) in many cases had not been available to taxpayers.
4. The entire discussion in the write-up(s) has, as is to be readily noted, been solely confined to/ with the entire focus on the ‘ CBDT Circular’, placing a wholesome reliance thereon That has been so done, mindlessly, -with no reservation or a second thought whatsoever, -on the questionable validity / legality or otherwise of the said Circular.
4.1 To provide some useful hints to be of guidance:
Not to skip but do care to and read the opening words of, –
(1) sec 140 A (1)- that READS: “Where any tax is payable on the basis of any return required to be furnished under sec. 139, -section 142, …..- after taking into account,…..-the assessee shall be liable to pay such tax together with interest…. payable under …, before furnishing the return and….
(2) Sec 234 A (1)- that READS:
“Where the return of income ………………………is furnished after the due date or is not furnished, the assessee shall be liable to pay simple interest …. comprised in the period commencing on the date immediately following the due date , and,
(a) Where the return is furnished after the due date, ending on the date of furnishing of the return; or
4.2. It is thus obvious/abundantly clear that, for payment of SA tax, -together with interest if any, – the computation ‘as made in the return’ should necessarily form the basis. Further that, the due date for filing of return having been extended as mentioned above, also for the purpose of payment of SA tax ‘the due date’ should have been treated/prescribed as consequentially extended likewise.
Aside: Most of the users’ comment as supplied on professional websites – e.g. that of TAXGURU, on the Topic on hand, are noted to have harped on the plea to the effect that faced with multiple problems / technical glitches in the ITD Portal, e’ filing of tax return has been rendered impossible; and, therefore, the time limit would require to be further extended !
In other words, regrettably, none have thought it fit to urge why the same extended due date for filing tax return, should have been prescribed as the due date for payment of SA tax as well.
5. Be that as it may, as of now, the time limit for the filing of a tax return already stands extended up to September 30/ November 30. However, but for certain exception, taxpayers have been obligated, by virtue of the Circular, to pay SA tax on or before the due date as originally prescribed – that is, 31 July.
If closely analysed, that might not be possible say, for instance, in the case of a taxpayer having salary income in view of the fact that the time limit for employer to make available FORM 16 had been extended to the very same date- 31st July.
Form 16 providing TDS DATA was required to be furnished to deductee by 15th July. Nonetheless, not all deductors- e.g., PSBs, as experience shows, have not taken the time limit seriously; so much so, deductees could not ascertain the exact amount of interest on which TDS has been paid over to the govt. Further, in a case in which, – as personally aware of, – PSB has either short or excess deducted, taxpayer is left in the lurch/in an unenviable piquant situation; in that, for paying SA tax, taxpayer may have had to face a different kind of problem.
6. In these circumstances of inherent uncertainty and consequential problems/ hardships taxpayers have been confronted with, -as set out above, – there could be no contrary view on the proposition that had the REVENUE acted mindfully, but not sparing pains of doing sufficiently enough homework , as required, such problems/hardships would possibly have not cropped up, to the chagrin of the taxpayers- especially scrupulously honest of them, as a community.
7. More importantly, as is to be noted from the above discussion, the subj. Circular does not but have the effect of overriding / tinkering with the clear provisions of, inter alia, sec. 140 A and sec 234 A. Premised so, the Circular is prima- facie amenable to being validly challenged on the ground of it having been issued in excess of the vested powers of CBDT in terms of sec 119.
Disclaimer (: While an earnest attempt, to the best of one’s capability, has been made as above, to share own thoughts and viewpoints, to be of some guidance, it is now left to the aggrieved taxpayers and their advising professionals in- practice, to make effective representations to the Finance Ministry / the CBDT for an appropriate remedial action, to the end of squarely meeting the taxpayers grouse- sooner than later or never!