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Coronavirus: Income Tax Employees Federation asks CBDT for longer window to process tax returns

Apart from the Vivad se Vishwas scheme, the deadline for filing the revised income tax returns for 2019-20 is on March 31. The deadlines for various GST returns also fall between March 20 and March 31.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: March 23, 2020 3:14:49 pm
The financial year 2019-20 ends on March 31. (Representational)

As the ending of the financial year draws near, the Income Tax Employees Federation and the Principal Chief Commissioner of Mumbai, Satish Kumar Gupta, have appealed to the Central Board of Direct Taxes to grant more time for processing tax returns as well as the Vivad se Vishwas scheme amid the coronavirus pandemic.The financial year 2019-20 ends on March 31 and the appeal comes amid business and commercial activities taking a hit due to the ongoing coronavirus crisis.

Apart from the Vivad se Vishwas scheme, the deadline for filing the revised income tax returns for 2019-20 is on March 31. The deadlines for various GST returns also fall between March 20 and March 31.

On March 14, the Parliament approved the Direct Tax Vivad Se Vishwas Bill, which will provide an opportunity to taxpayers to end pending disputes by paying the tax amount, with interests and penalties waived off, till March 31.

After March 31, an additional 10 per cent of disputed tax will have to be paid over and above the tax liability. However, disputes related to wealth tax, commodity transaction tax, securities transaction tax and equalisation levy are not covered. The scheme would remain open till June 30.

The government has already notified the rules and five online forms to be filled by taxpayers for availing the Vivad Se Vishwas scheme.

Tax experts had earlier told The Indian Express that with the COVID-19 outbreak and companies opting for work from home, notification of rules and forms merely 10 working days before the initial deadline will make it tough for taxpayers willing to opt for the scheme and that an extension should be considered.

Net direct tax collections contracted by 3.5 per cent to 8.13 lakh crore during April-February period of the current fiscal, while indirect tax collections grew by just 3.8 per cent to 8.75 lakh crore, data presented by the Finance Ministry in Parliament has showed.

With the requirement now to collect Rs 4.67 lakh crore (Rs 3.56 lakh crore of direct taxes and Rs 1.11 lakh crore of indirect taxes) in the one remaining month of this financial year and given the economic slowdown and the economic impact of COVID-19 pandemic, meeting the revised estimates for tax revenues for 2019-20 would be an uphill task for the Centre.

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