New Delhi, Oct 24, 2020: The Income Tax Department on Saturday extended the deadline for individual assessees to file their returns for financial year 2019-20 (assessment year 2020-21) by a month, in a relief to taxpayers on account of COVID-19. Taxpayers now have until December 31 to file their return of income earned between April 1, 2019 to March 31, 2020, instead of November 30. For individuals required to get their accounts audited, a new deadline of January 31 is applicable, instead of December 31.
The last date for assessees required to furnish audit reports on international or specified domestic transactions has also been extended to January 31, from November 30.
The due dates have been extended in order to "provide more time to taxpayers for furnishing of income tax returns", according to the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), the top policy-making body of the Income Tax Department.
The Income Tax Department acknowledged the "challenges faced by taxpayers in meeting the statutory and regulatory compliances due to the outbreak of COVID-19".
In May, the government had extended the date for filing income tax returns for financial year 2019-20 to November 30, from July 31. It had also moved the last date to furnish various audit reports - including tax audit report - to October 31.
The Income Tax Department also extended the deadline for small taxpayers - - or those with a tax liability up to ₹ 1 lakh based on self-assessment - to January 31.
In June, the taxman had also extended the due dates for payment of self-assessment taxes in cases of liabilities up to ₹ 1 lakh, in a bid to provide relief to small- and middle-class taxpayers. A due date of November 30 was fixed for cases with or without audit.