ITR last dates – Writ Petitions (WP) seems inevitable for directions to extend last date for filing of non-audit Income Tax Return (ITR) and also for amendment in ‘due dates’ prescribed under section 139(1) of Income Tax Act, 1961
As in past, this year also it seems that various tax payers and tax consultants , return prepares, assesses and their Associations will have to approach High Courts for directions to the Ministers and CBDT / Board for extension of last date for filing of ITR in case of non-audit assesses.
Representations sent by various associations this year have taken many reasons relating to difficulties due to problems in portal, late start of utilities, late information in AIS,TIA and form 26AS, climatic conditions, natural calamities, etc. However, author feels that a very important aspect about length, size, nature of information and complexities in case of longer forms of ITR have been missed.
These are such reasons which really are good enough to amend provisions od S139 for different last dates for different ITR forms. Therefore, in WP this stand requesting to change due dates in provisions itself is desirable.
Experience with short and long ITR at processing stage at CPC
Now ITR are being processed mostly with use of strong artificial intelligence system CPC is having. This is used for comparison of data in various ways as found in ITR and other reports and past ITR , past assessment also.
We find that in many short and simple ITR processing was completed within few minutes (not even half an hour) and refunds were allowed and granted within few hours and days.
However, all these examples are for various simple ITR forms in which people have filed ROI, just as per AIS, TIS and form 26AS. Fact is that many ITR preparers have not even bothered to look into actual facts and figures in respective cases. They fear that even if some changes are made, higher income is reported, it is likely to get delayed intimation and chances of scrutiny notices.
Delayed processing of long and even a bit more informative ITR:
Official data are not available, however, it is learned from professional friends that ITR having business income, capital gains, and bit more information and data are processed very slowly. Only recently some intimations and refunds have been received for AY 2021-22.
Majority of ITR for AY 2021-22 which were in long ITR forms and have some substantial information and data have not been processed and refunds have not been received. Even in case of families having four – five assesses short forms were processed quickly but even a bit long form of ITR has into been processed till date.
Therefore, when department itself is taking long time in processing even non-audit simple cases of ITR having business income, capital gains, share holdings etc. then why time allowed to assesses required to file long ITR forms is just shortest time which is allowed for simplest and shortest of ITR forms that is 31.07.2022.
There is really no logic and rational in prescribing last date as same in all non-audit cases.
Reports denying extension of last date:
In news reports we are finding every day some reports or expectations that last date will not be revised. This is causing lot of pressures on assesses and their return preparers and consultants. It seems that CBDT is still having unreasonable approach in a way to ignore ground realities, genuine difficulties of all concerned.
Points for different last dates in case of different type of assesses and ITR forms:
Size of ITR forms.
Possibility of varied size of information applicable in forms of ITR.
Number of sources required for collection and assimilation of information for ITR.
Nature of business and likely interface with large number of parties.
Though Tax audit may not be required ( upto Rs.10 crore of turnover) it does not mean that the ITR to be filed is as simple as ITR 1 Sahaj,
Complexities of data- for example in case of capital gains, and dividend quarterly data and details are to be furnished. Even if it is available in online reports, it need to e chacked because data reported are not correct and complete. For example in a simple case in form 26AS six Dividend cases are reported out of which in one case only there was TDS and that too is wrongly deducted. In fact there is more than 20 cases of dividend earned in different quarters. Many dividends are petty sums even below Re.one but that has to be reported correctly in ITR by assesse.
Similarly information about capital gains, there are differences in reported figures and details and actuals.
Nature of assessee unorganized or less organized small cases.
Cannot be expected to do as well organized large corporation can do. In fact well organized large organizations can be asked to file ITR within 31.07.22 but not small assesses.
Many other substantial reasons as discussed in various articles.
Many other similar reasons as per experience to be shared.