Due date for filing Income Tax Returns for A.Y. 2018-19 are fast approaching. But till date today, CBDT has been able to release Utility for Filing of only ITR 1 even after 36 days of start of new Assessment Year. In this article we will first discuss the penal consequences of Late Return Filing, Return Filing due dates, Social Media Reactions and why CBDT should Link ITR Filing Due date with ITR E-filing Utility Release Date.
As we all know from this year (Assessment Year 2018-19) government has imposed a late fees for delayed filing of Income Tax Return under Section 234F of Income Tax Act, 1961 which ranges from a Minimum of Rs. 1000 to a Maximum of Rs. 10000/-.
Further government has also reduced time limit for filing of belated return by one year with effect from A.Y. 2017-18. Hence the IT Return for Assessment Year 2018-19 can be filed only up to 31.03.2019. Similarly, the time to file revised return also been reduced by one year and now Return for A.Y. 2018-19 (including the belated return) can be revised only till 31.03.2019.
It is observed in the last one year that government has started initiating Prosecution U/s. 276CC for late Income Tax Return Filers and Income Tax Act does not provide any immunity to even belated return filers. As per the provisions of section 276CC, a person can be placed behind the bars for a term ranging from three months to seven years. Please note that prosecution is not applicable only if tax payable by the taxpayer (not being a company) on the total income determined on regular assessment (as reduced by advance tax and TDS, if any), does not exceed Rs. 3,000.
For Other consequences of late return filing, readers may read the following article- Consequences of Non or Late Filing of the Income Tax Return
The due dates to file income tax return for A.Y. 2018-19 can be divided into two parts.
|Sr. No.||Category||Due Date for Income Tax Return|
|1||Individuals, HUF, BOI, AOP. (Taxpayers with no audit requirement.)||31st July 2018|
|2||Company, Taxpayers whose accounts need to be Audited, Working partner (whose firm’s books need to be Audited)||30th September 2018|
Now coming to the topic of ITR Release, Hon’ble Gujarat High Court has in the case of All Gujarat Federation of Tax Consultants Vs CBDT vide its judgment dated 30.09.2015 has instructed CBDT to ensure that the forms and utilities for e-filing of income tax returns are ordinarily made available on the 1st day of April of the assessment year.
CBDT has vide its Notification No. 16/2018-Income Tax dated 03rd April 2018 has released ITR 1 to ITR 7 for Financial Year 2017-18 / A.Y. 2018-19 but till date it’s been able to release Return filing Utility for only ITR 1, which was released on 14th April 2018. The Income Tax Department has failed to Release Income Tax Return filing Utility for other ITRs even after 36 days of end of Assessment Year 2018-19.
Social Media nowadays plays a big role and current Central Government has given a lot of Importance to Social Media Communication especially to Twitter. We have shortlisted few of the tweet reactions on this subject and added them below-
Sahab itr utilities due date khatm hone k baad aayenge kya…
— Gaurav Singh (@Garvs_92) May 6, 2018
ITR deadline is 31 July for non-audit cases for AY 2018-19 and only ITR 1 filing Utility is available till date.If CBDT charges Penalty for delayed ITR filing, should it not make available all the ITRs Filing Utility on April1 CBDT should extend due date @PMOIndia @FinMinIndia
— CA RAJAT DUBEY (@drajatdubey) May 4, 2018
— Ankur Agarwal (@naturefuture) May 4, 2018
@theicai @NaveenNDGupta @PrafullaCa @catarunghia @NileshVik Requesting to represent the government for providing ITR forms. Only one form is issued. Also already 26.22% (32 days out of 122) has already been passed. Also the due date of TDS return should be preponed.
— Karan Thacker (@ca_karanthacker) May 3, 2018
@IncomeTaxIndia has ignored @DelhiHighCourt decision whereas mentioned that department should provide ITR from 1st April of Assessment Year unless otherwise reasons recorded in writing. Only ITR1 is available. @FinMinIndia @Ish_Bhandari https://t.co/0nStYUBkl3
— Chintan Parekh (@Chintan0890) May 1, 2018
— vicky (@vickyelango) May 1, 2018
@FinMinIndia @arunjaitley one month completed today for filing I T returns for AY 18-19 except ITR1 no other forms are available on Website.due date of filing is fixed by department .so please available all ITR on priority.otherwise extend dates due to unavailability of ITR Forms
— Adv.Pawan Baldi (@PawanBaldi) April 30, 2018
@IncomeTaxIndia,@FinMinIndia No e filing option activated for ITRs except ITR-1 .Sir are you again going to extend the due date of filing.please inform in advance so that , we can plan accordingly. 30days already passed out of 122 days .
— Rajendra Rampuria (@r_rampuria) April 30, 2018
— CA Shashank Mittal (@shashank_ca) April 28, 2018
@PMOIndia @SHALAKHANDI one month completed today for filing I T returns for AY 18-19 except ITR1 no other forms are available on Website.due date of filing is fixed by department .so please available all ITR on priority.otherwise extend dates due to unavailability of ITR Forms
— Adv.Pawan Baldi (@PawanBaldi) April 30, 2018
Now I am not talking about lots of Legal Compliances which a taxpayer and Tax Professionals need to Comply in coming months and not making those a basis for due date extension. What I observed since the Introduction of E-Returns and E-forms by Income Tax Department is Consistent Year on Year delay in release of ITR Utility and equally consistent demand from Taxpayers for extension of due date.
Now a few questions which arise are- Why the taxpayer has to ask for extension of due date when delay in release of ITR is not attributable to him? Why is the tax payer made to suffer by reducing time available to him to file his Income Tax Return? Why does the tax payer have to beg for extension of due date? Why is the department not made accountable for delay in release of ITR Utility? Why does the Govt. not provide any incentive for timely filing and timely payment of taxes? Why has the Hon’ble Gujarat High Court’s decision not been followed? Why can’t we make our tax system taxpayer friendly instead of increasing compliance burden and Penal consequences on Regular basis without much improvement in Tax System in which rampant corruption is still prevalent?
In My opinion CBDT should link ITR Filing due date with ITR E-filing Utility Release Date so that taxpayer gets sufficient time to file his Income Tax Returns and do not have to beg for extension of due date for delay in release of Income Tax Return Forms and Utility.
Further CBDT should extend due date for ITR of A.Y. 2018-19 based on release date of ITR i.e. As ITR 1 for A.Y. 2018 been released on 14th April 2018 so due for those liable to file ITR 1 should be extended from existing 31st July 2018 to 14th August 2018 and in the same way it should extend the due date for Other Return Forms based on due date applicable to Assessee for filing of Return and ITR Utility Release date.