Every year the due date of filing Income Tax Return (ITR) used to be July 31 of the respective Assessment Year (AY), which was often extended by up to 1 month if some problems arise around the due date owing to various reasons causing hardship to the assessees.
However, this year the situation is completely different due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the nationwide lockdown that was imposed to contain the spread of the highly contagious virus.
As the Financial Year (FY) 2019-20 ended amid full lockdown on March 31, 2020, various compliance dates – including the due date of filing ITR for the AY 2020-21 – were extended.
This year, due to the extension in various compliance dates, the return filing couldn’t even took off before July 31, 2020, when the filings usually get finished in a normal year.
This was because the date for furnishing of Tax Deducted at Source (TDS) / Tax Collected at Source (TCS) statements and issuance of TDS/ TCS certificates pertaining to the FY 2019-20 was extended to July 31, 2020 and August 15, 2020 respectively.
Due to the extension in the due date for furnishing of TDS/ TCS statements and issuance of TDS/ TCS certificates, the updation of Form 26AS couldn’t be done before July 31, 2020.
As Form 26AS provides compiled data about taxes deposited – including TDS, TCS, Advance Tax, Self Assessment Tax, etc – it helps the taxpayers in filing their return of income. As a result, ITR filings got hampered due to the unavailability of updated Form 26AS even on July 31, 2020.
Many taxpayers missed the deadline for making last-minute tax-saving investments as the FY 2019-20 ended amid nationwide lockdown, resulting in extension in the deadline for making the investments – first to June 30, 2020 and then to July 31, 2020.
Source : Financial Express