Gujarat High Court directs CBDT to decide on further due date extension by 12.01.2021.

Gujarat High Court directs CBDT to decide on further due date extension by 12.01.2021. Writ Petition was filed by All Gujarat Federation of Tax Consultants

Breaking: CBDT denies any further extension in due dates for filing ITRs/Audit Reports. Order u/s 119 in pursuance of Gujarat HC direction  Read more >>

ABCAUS Case Law Citation
ABCAUS 3434 (2021) (01) HC

Important case law relied upon by the parties:
All Gujarat Federation of Tax Consultants vs. Central Board of Direct Taxes [2014] 50 115 (Gujarat)
Vaghjibhai S. Bishnoi v. Income Tax Officer and another [2013] 36 371(Gujarat)

In a writ Petition filed by the All Gujarat Federation of Tax Consultants, a Division Bench of the Hon’ble Gujarat High Court has directed the CBDT to look make a decision into the issue of further extension of due dates.

The Petition was originally filed on 22.10.2020. The Petitioner has urged the extension due to covid19 pandemic situation. It was submitted that the Ministry of Law and Justice has in fact recognized the reality of the situation and extended en mass time limits (except otherwise specified) of the specified Acts to 31st March 2021 which falls during the period from 30th March 2020 to 31st December 2020 vide the Taxation and Others Laws (Relaxation and Amendment of Certain Provisions) Act, 2020 and in many cases, the effective extensions are substantial ranging to 3 to 6 months. Therefore, a meagre extension of one month in case of the filing of return of income under Section 139 is violative of Article 14 and Article 19(1)(g) of the Constitution of India being manifestly arbitrary, discriminatory and unreasonable

The attention of the Hon’ble High Court was invited to the chart showing the very less effective time available to the assessee due to late release of the various Forms/reports and ITR preparation utilities by the CBDT.

However, in view of the recent extension given, the CBDT opposed the Petition and submitted that filing of tax returns/ audit reports are essential part of the compliance obligations of assessee and cannot be delayed indefinitely. Also

filing of tax returns by assessee also results in collections of taxes.

The Hon’ble High Court observed that the Coordinate Bench of this High Court had the occasion to consider identical situation where the various utilities provided by the CBDT were frequently changed.

In the said case the Hon’ble High Court opined that no grave prejudice would be caused to the revenue by extending due date for filing the return of income till the date of filing of the tax audit report and the issue of delayed payment of self assessment tax can be taken care of by making such returns subject to interest u/s 234A of the Income Tax Act, 1961 (the Act).

The Hon’ble High Court directed the CBDT to take an appropriate decision by 12th of January 2020 keeping in mind the observations made by the Court and the observations of the Supreme Court that the powers given to the CBDT are beneficial in nature to be exercised for proper administration of fiscal law so that undue hardship may not be caused to the taxpayers.

The case is listed for further hearing on 13.01.2021

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