23 September, 2014

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Gujarat High Court directs CBDT to extend due date for filing of ITR to 30-11-2014 subject to Sec. 234A interest

The CBDT vide Order [F.No.133/24/2014-TPL], dated 20-8-2014 had extended the due date for filing of tax audit report to November 30, 2014. However, the CBDT had not extended the due date for filing of the Income-tax Return ('ITR'). Consequently, many taxpayers were facing difficulty in filing of ITR without filing the tax audit reports.

In view of this, All Gujarat Federation of Tax Consultant filed a writ petition in the Gujarat High Court contending for the extension of the due date for filing of ITR to November 30, 2014.

On the impugned issue, petitioner argued that ITR is prepared on the basis of information collated and reported in the tax audit report and in absence of tax audit report it would not be possible for a taxpayer to compute his tax liability and file return of income on due date 30-09-2014. On the other side, the Income-tax Department argued that if the blanket extension is given for filing of return of income, the taxpayer would also defer the payment of due taxes to the credit of Central Government which would be prejudicial to interest of revenue. Dept. also gave surety to the Court that no penalty or interest would be levied for revision of return by the taxpayer, if any, pursuant to such tax audit.

However, Gujarat High Court suggested a mid-way which would tackle the practical problem being faced by the taxpayers and which would save the interest of revenue. Gujarat High Court directed the CBDT to extend the due date for filing of return of income for all purposes, inter-alia, carry forward of losses, allowability of deductions under Sections 80-IA, 80-IB, 80-IC, 80-ID, etc.

However, such extension has been granted subject to charge of interest under Section 234A for the period commencing from 01-10-2014 and up to the actual date of filling the return of income.

However, in such cases, the taxpayer will enjoy the option of paying taxes before the due date of 30-09-2014 and to that extent enjoy the exemption from levy of interest under Section 234A.

The copy of order is awaited.

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