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Is the due date for ITR filing getting extended for FY 2020-21?

One of the most prominent murmurs going on among taxpayers and experts alike is, will the due date for ITR filing get extended? Normally, the due date for filing ITR is 31st July of the assessment year. However, taking into account, the havoc wrecked by covid, the due date was extended to 30th September 2021 where tax audit is not applicable & 30th November 2021 where audit is applicable.

So why are there murmurs of the possibility of it getting extended yet again?

Glitches in the new Income Tax Portal

The ITD launched the new Income Tax portal on 7th June 2021 with a lot of fanfare. The portal with its swanky new interface promised a seamless user experience.
However, it has been a rocky road for the new portal ever since its launch. Taxpayers have been facing difficulties while trying to file their returns as well as while using the other services offered by the portal.

Many taxpayers took to various online platforms, to express their dissatisfaction. This did not go unnoticed by the Financial Minister who urged Infosys, the vendor to step up and resolve the glitches on the new portal at the earliest.

Although several glitches on the new portal have been fixed, some of them still persist making it difficult for many taxpayers to file their returns. The portal went under emergency maintenance on 21st August and was completely unavailable for two days. Filing seemed to have picked up after the portal went live again & an average of 400,000 returns are being filed every day since the past week. Despite significant improvements in the portal and in the number of returns being filed, many taxpayers continue to face glitches on the new portal.

Taking this into account The Finance Minister had summoned the CEO of Infosys for a meeting on 23rd August to seek an explanation for the persisting glitches

Post the meeting, the FM had given Infosys a deadline of 15th September to Infosys in order to fix all the glitches on the portal.

Due dates extended for e-filing of various forms under Income Tax Act

The CBDT has already extended the due date for filing various forms, such as:

So is the due date for ITR filing getting extended too?

Despite the ITR filing picking up pace, many taxpayers are still struggling to file their returns on the new portal. And if we assume that the portal will be fully functional by 15th September, as per the deadline given by the Finance Minister, that leaves a very narrow window for taxpayers to file their returns.

Experts have pointed out that it would be in the best interest of taxpayers to extend the due date for filing since, it would be difficult for them to get accustomed to the new portal and file their returns, all within a span of 15 days. Although the new portal promises a much quicker filing of returns, the narrow window of 2 weeks can prove to be quite uncomfortable for not only ordinary taxpayers but also CAs.

Not to mention that last year the Government had extended the due date for ITR filing 4 times and the final due date was 10th January 2021.

It must be noted that the extension of ITR filing due date will lead to a chain reaction and the due dates for Audits and other formalities may also get extended.

So do you think the due date for ITR filing for FY 2020-21 will get extended? Share your thoughts with us

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