Shri Arun Jaitely
Finance Minister of Govt. Of India
Ref: Request to take note of CBDT wrong doing and now an adamancy to go ahead with Tax Audit Last Date 30th September 2015.
I would like to attract your attention for seeking extension of the Tax Audit date of 30th September 2015 as it is totally unjustified to look towards the fraternity of Chartered Accountants to complete their job within 23 days against statutory availability of 180 days. Every year CBDT failed to notify the Income Tax returns in time, which compress the time of Tax Audits. Last year too, CBDT failed to act in time and you were not feeling well at that time, so an impression has reached to the fraternity that it was CBDT decision not to go for TAR extension. Ultimately, many groups, many trade associations have filed cases in various high courts and got the decisions in their favour.
This year, the July work load has shifted to august not on the sweet will of CBDT but because of non availability of ITR for filling. The delay of 108 days in notifying the ITRs should be matched with the TAR filling. The date for completion and furnishing of the tax audit report is 30th Sept. 2015 and it genuinely requires an extension. The judgments of the last year clearly shown a way for timely release of ITRs but this year also CBDT have failed in its job. Like every year, most of the ITRs are released in the Month of July and August 2015, almost four months later from the beginning of the Assessment year.
The availability of 23 days should also be shortened by a week because it’s dead sure that the site shall not function properly in the last week. You have just witness the crashing of site in the last days of 31st august and CBDT announced the extension for e filling on 2nd August. It’s a simply mockery at the part of CBDT to play with the dates of ITR extensions. Your Government should craft out a simple formula to the extension of dates and you must ensure the availability of full period as statutes provided in the act. Earlier the Governments were taking the extensions notifications on time, but the day, this Govt. has taken charge of, and a flimsy adamancy is being shown to the Taxpayers resulting in their endless sufferings.
Many Chartered accountants groups of Delhi already met you and requested you to extend the due date. The regulator ICAI through its Direct Taxes Committee also moved a request to go for the extension of TAR returns till 31st December 2015. This group is also having PAN India exposure and having 25000 Chartered accountants as its members.
Kindly order the CBDT to take the decision in the spirit of last year judgements i.e Rajni Mangaldas Shah V/S Central Board Of Direct Taxes (Gujarat High Court), SCA/12571/2014 & All Gujarat Federation of Tax Consultants Vs. CBDT (Gujarat High Court) SCA 12656/ 2014. Your attention is drawn towards para 62 of the order which is reproduced herewith.
62. Here, we notice that subsequent to the representation made on 21st August, 2014, the CBDT could have responded to such representation by either acceding or refusing to the request of extending the period of filing of ITR and making it extendable up to 30th November, 2014. Ordinarily, in such circumstances, the Court would direct the authority to consider the representation and pass a specific order. In wake of the constrains of time, as the due date of the filing of the return is expiring on 30th September, 2014 and when the respondent Board has chose not to respond to the same, but, later on by offering the comments before this Court in writing in no uncertain terms, it has termed such a request impermissible and has chosen to refuse the same on the ground that all the grievance made by the petitioners are not sustainable. Therefore, considering the larger cause of public good and keeping in mind the requirement of promotion of justice, we chose to exercise the writ of mandamus directing the CBDT to extend the date of filing of return of income to 30th November, 2014, which is due date for filing of the TAR, as provided in the Notification dated 20th August, 2014.
I request you to take the timely decision over the extension of Tax Audit Reports. This shall be a great help to the CA fraternity from you good office. This will help CBDT to come out with a concept of inertia. According to Webster’s Dictionary, “inertia” is the tendency of a body to remain at rest or stay in motion unless acted on by and external force. This means that if something is moving, it will keep moving unless something else acts on it to slow it down or stop it, and that if something is standing still, it will continue to stand still unless something else causes it to move.
Your help should reach to the CA fraternity well in time, then it’s a real help otherwise in the last hours, the help will be no help.
CA AMRESH VASHISHT, Meerut
(About the Author– Author was Member of ICAI- Regional Research Committee 2013-14 and ICAI- Committee For Direct Taxes 2011-12 and can be reached at email firstname.lastname@example.org or on phone Phone: 0 1 2 1-2 6 6 1 9 4 6. Cell: 9 8 3 7 5 1 5 4 3 2 having office at 1 1 5, Chappel Street, Meerut Cantt, UP, INDIA)