CA Sandeep Kanoi
In his election manifesto and various speeches given pre-election Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has vowed to end environment of tax terrorism created by the previous UPA regime. He underlined that several measures announced in the budget by him were to end the environment of scaring away the investors in what some call ‘tax terrorism.’
Taxpayers around the country expected to him to take steps which could make people understand that Indian taxman is a “Tax Army” – equipped with the ammunition and also the knowledge of when to use it and not a “Tax Terrorist” who indiscriminately uses the tax laws and causes mayhem.
But after 100 days of BJP Government and one full Budget by them, it is observed that current government is no different from Previous Government as far as tax front is concerned. In our previous article we have discussed some instances of Tax Terrorism continuance in BJP Regime – Tax Terrorism continues in Union Budget 2014 . These has made us think that in BJP regime Nothing has changed except our belief that we would have better days in this regime and that the government listens only to the bureaucrats who continue to empower themselves with more weapons of extortion and threat.
In addition to the same large scale reopening of Income Tax Cases of share deals of hundreds of unlisted companies based on mere data collected from ROC further strengthens our belief of continuance of Tax Terrorism.
One more such instance is non extension of due date of Income Tax Return (ITR) despite demand for the same by Trade, Tax Payers and Chartered Accountants around the country. The government has recently extended the due date of Tax Audit Report Filing date without extending the due date of Income Tax Return (ITR), which has created lot of confusions and left the tax payer and tax tax professionals with inadequate time to file the Income Tax Returns.
CA Surendra Kumar Rakhecha from Surat Said that “The government believes that every assessee is expert in information technology and/or those who are expert in infotech are only eligible to do hassle free business in India. Despite every year enhancement in tax collections, more and more tax collection targets are fixed as if BUSINESS is being run. Whatever were wrong so far in the tax collections, the government wish to correct it in a short period. ‘Government is helpless when BLACK MONEY is earned by TERRORISTS because they are out of reach hence it is easier to catch those who are identified and can be compelled.”
CA Sanjeev Lalan from Mumbai said that “New Tax Audit forms are casting such a huge responsibility on both the assessees as well as the auditor that it is very well an act of tax-terrorism. Further, the manner of in which the issue of extension of time is being handled by the babus makes one feel that we are beggars and not citizens of this country. They are still functioning with colonial mindset. Atleast the colonialist were fair in some of their approach. It still defies my understanding as to how a return of income could be filed before the tax audit is completed when the very objective of introducing the provision was to enable filing of correct return of income. It appears that the administration of country is beyond the control of anyone at all.”
CA Sudhir Halakhandi from Rajasthan said that “Tax terrorism is not only continue but it’s intensity has been increased and the promise of the simplification and rationalization of taxation system of the country is now totally broken as have been seen in the current TAR and ITR controversy and this is not very good sign for the future of taxation in India. If this is continue and not checked properly then there will be lot problems to the tax payers when GST will be introduced in our country and the success of GST will also be badly hit due to this unwarranted habit and hobby of the lawmakers.”
One of the reason for extension of due date for Tax Audit Report by CBDT was Mid-Year release of Revised Tax Audit Report and further delay in release of Utility for filing of the same. Recently in its representation to CBDT ICAI has suggested that
a) the due date of filing return of income under section 139(1) for assessees mentioned under clause (a) of Explanation 2 to section 139 (1) be extended in line with the extension granted for submission of tax audit report under section 44AB of the Act.
b) Since the provisions applicable to every Assessment year are clarified by the relevant Finance Act well in advance, it is further suggested that all ITR forms and forms of Audit reports be notified well in advance by 1st April every year, to avoid such situations.
In appeals pending before Delhi and Gujarat High Court one of the reason given by CBDT for non extension of due date of ITR is that same will delay the tax collection and will result in revenue loss for the government.
It was argued by Petitioners that Tax Audit Due Date should coincide with the Due Date of Return Filing. When Tax Audit Report Filing due date has been extended for 2 months, then return filing due date must also be extended.
We hope Honorable High Court brings a solution acceptable to all and impart justice to taxpayers around the country. We further hope that CBDT will release all forms related to Audit and Income Tax Returns alongwith Utility on or before the start of the Assessment year i.e. 1st April.
To know status of the cases pending before various High Courts Please check the following link : – Status update on TAR Extension / Deferment Cases Pending before Various High Courts.
Lets hope the New Government to take further steps which makes taxpayer fell safe and without any terror.