Income tax return filing deadline for FY 2019-20 extended to Nov 30, 2020

As per the announcement, "Due date for all income-tax return for FY 2019-20 will be extended from July 31, 2020, and October 31, 2020, to November 30, 2020, and tax audit from September 30, 2020 to 31st October 2020."

Atmanirbhar economic package: ITR deadline extended to Nov 30, 2020 for FY 2019-20
The government in a press conference dated May 13, 2020 announced that the income tax return (ITR) filing deadline for financial year 2019-20 has been extended to November 30, 2020 from July 31, 2020. "Due date for all income-tax return for FY 2019-20 will be extended from July 31 2020 and 31 October 31, 2020 to November 30, 2020 and tax audit from September 30, 2020 to 31st October 2020," Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said during a press briefing.

Further, the government via notification dated June 24, 2020 (effective from June 30, 2020) has extended the date to issue Form 16(TDS certificate for salary) to employees by employers to August 15, 2020. Earlier, as per chartered accountants, the government had earlier extended the deadline for receiving Form-16 from June 15, 2020 to June 30, 2020 via an ordinance dated March 31, 2020.

The previous extension of issuing Form 16 (i.e. June 30, 2020) had left only one month for individual taxpayers to file their tax returns before the deadline, i.e., July 31, 2020. Chartered accountants and other tax experts were anticipating such an extension in the ITR filing deadline for FY 2019-20.

This was part of the Rs 20 lakh crore relief package. Along with the extension of the ITR filing deadline, there were other direct tax-related relief measures announced as well.

Other direct tax measures
The government has also reduced the TDS rates applicable for non-salaried payments. As per the announcement, to provide more funds to taxpayers, TDS for non-salaried specified payments made to residents and rates of TCS for specified receipts shall be reduced by 25%. The reduced TDS and TCS rates will remain valid till March 31, 2021. The reduced rates will be applicable on payments such as TDS on rent exceeding Rs 50,000 per month, dividend payments from mutual funds and companies, TDS on fixed deposits etc.

In addition to that the date of making payments without interest and penalty under Vivad se Vishwas scheme has been extended to December 31, 2020. This is the second extension of the scheme. Earlier the government in the press conference dated March 24, 2020 has announced the extension of Vivad se Vishwas scheme to June 30, 2020.

The Vivad se Vishwas Scheme was announced in the Budget 2020 to allow one-time settlement of tax dispute between the tax department and the individuals. The settlment can be made without paying any penalty and interest on the tax dispute amount.

Abhishek Soni, CEO & founder, says, "As per the various relief announcements made by the Hon'ble FM, the due date of filing of ITR for F.Y. 2019-20 has been extended from 31st July 2020 to 30th Nov 2020. In case of tax audits, due date extended from 31st Sept 2020 to 31st Oct 2020. Further, TDS and TCS rates have also been reduced on non-salaried specified payments to residents by 25% of the existing rates. This will have an effect on payment of Rent, contract amount, professional fees, Interest and Brokerage etc. Therefore, more money will be there in the hands of the receiver of the income."

Sudhir Kapadia, National Tax Leader, EY India, said, “On the ease of compliance front, the extension in tax filing dates and assessment dates are welcome. The move to slash TDS/ TCS rates across the board by 25% will provide much needed cash assistance especially to beleaguered businesses and the need to claim excess TDS as refunds."
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