Festival Bonanza for Taxpayers: ITR Filing Deadline Extended

Last Updated at: Dec 22, 2020
ITR Filing Deadline Extended
While filing ITR for AY 2020-21, you need to make sure there is no mismatch between the income or the tax reported in Form 26AS and the tax return. If there is one, the tax authorities will seek an explanation. 


On 24th October, the “Mahastami” day, the Government announced the extension of the ITR filing (Income Tax Return) deadline till 31st December 2020. This was no less than a ‘Puja Gift’ for the taxpayers facing hardships amidst the COVID-19 disruption. Those who could not file their ITR filing and were probably staring at penalties can have a temporary sigh of relief now! 

Please note that this was the 4th such extension announced by the Government for the fiscal. Earlier in March, the deadline was extended for the first time from March 31st to June 30th. Then the deadline was extended again till 31st July. Vide a notification dated 24th June, the deadline was further extended for the 3rd time till 30th November. 

Vide this new announcement; individual taxpayers who do not need to conduct a tax audit report, have time till 31st December to file their ITR for FY 2019-2020. There is good news for those who need to file their tax audit reports as well. Businesses with sales up to Rs 1 Crore have extra time. Further, professionals with gross receipts over Rs 50 lakhs have the benefit of extra time. Now, they can file their returns up to 31st January 2021 instead of the earlier deadline of 30th November 2020. The same relaxation will also be applicable for the assessees who need to furnish reports. This is for specific domestic transactions and international transactions. 

File Your ITR here

The Finance Ministry statement had encouraging lines for small and mid-level taxpayers as well. Taxpayers with self-assessment tax liability up to Rs 1 lakh have been given additional time to pay the same.  Those who are not required to conduct a tax audit, have time till 31st December to pay the self-assessment tax. Those who are liable for tax audit can pay by 31st January 2021. 

The ‘Festival Bonanza’ just does not end here. The relief measures extend to the GST domain too. Acknowledging requests/representations from the industry, the Government has decided to extend the due date to file GST annual return and the reconciliation statement for FY19 from 31st October to 31st December 2020. Taxpayers with sales below Rs 2 Crore can optionally file their annual return for FY 2019 in form GSTR-9/GSTR-9A. Similarly, taxpayers with sales up to Rs 5 Crore can optionally file reconciliation statements for FY 2019 in form 9C.  

The Government said they would soon notify these changes. The industry has already welcomed these new relief measures. Industry experts have said that these latest extensions for annual compliance under GST; as well as income tax laws would further ease the compliance burden of the taxpayers troubled by the COVID-19 situation.