The central government today announced an extension of filing of the income tax return for the fiscal 2019-20 to 30 November 2020 from the original 31 July 2020.

“The returns of income which are required to be filed by the 31 July 2020 and 31 October 2020 can be filed to 30 November 2020,” the official statement from Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) said. Consequently, the date for the furnishing tax audit report has also been extended to 31 October 2020.

The extension in the income tax return filing deadline comes relief for taxpayers as 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 extension 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.

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. Teh 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 a one-time settlement of tax dispute between the tax department and the individuals. The settlement can be made without paying any penalty and interest on the tax dispute amount.

In order to provide relief to small and middle-class taxpayers, the date for payment of self-assessment tax in the case of a taxpayer whose self-assessment tax liability is up to 1 lakh has also been extended to 30th November 2020. However, it is clarified that there will be no extension of date for the payment of self-assessment tax for the taxpayers having self-assessment tax liability exceeding Rs. 1 lakh. In this case, the whole of the self-assessment tax shall be payable by the due dates specified in the Income-tax Act, 1961 (IT Act) and delayed payment would attract interest under section 234A of the IT Act.

The date for making various investments/payments for claiming deduction under Chapter-VIA-B of the IT Act which includes section 80C (LIC, PPF, NSC, etc.), 80D (Mediclaim), 80G (Donations) etc has also been further extended to 31st July 2020. Hence the investment/ payment can be made up to 31st July 2020 for claiming the deduction under these sections for FY 2019-20.

The date for making investment/ construction/ purchase for claiming rollover benefit/ deduction in respect of capital gains under sections 54 to 54GB of the IT Act has also been further extended to 30th September 2020. Therefore, the investment/ construction/ purchase made up to 30th September 2020 shall be eligible for claiming deduction from capital gains.

The date for commencement of operation for the SEZ units for claiming deduction under section 10AA of the IT Act has also been further extended to 30th September 2020 for the units which received necessary approval by 31st March 2020.

The furnishing of the TDS/ TCS statements and issuance of TDS/ TCS certificates being the prerequisite for enabling the taxpayers to prepare their return of income for FY 2019-20, the date for furnishing of TDS/ TCS statements and issuance of TDS/ TCS certificates pertaining to the FY 2019-20 has been extended to 31st July, 2020 and 15th August 2020 respectively.

The date for the passing of order or issuance of notice by the authorities and various compliances under various Direct Taxes & Benami Law which are required to be passed/ issued/ made by 31st December 2020 has been extended to 31st March 2021. Consequently, the date for linking of Aadhaar with PAN would also be extended to 31st March 2021.

The reduced rate of interest of 9% for delayed payments of taxes, levies, etc. specified in the Ordinance shall not be applicable for the payments made after 30th June 2020.

The central government earlier slashed TDS/TCS rate for non-salary payments to residents by 25 percent for the remaining months of the fiscal and extended the due date for filing income tax returns for 2019-20 till November 30, 2020.