Accounting professionals in India moved the Delhi High Court (DHC) to seek legal help over the Central Board of Direct Taxes’ (CBDT) recent directive in which the government body has extended the deadline for furnishing the tax audit report (TAR) without making any change in the deadline for filing the income-tax return (ITR).
Earlier on July 25, the CBDT extended the due date for filing the TAR under Section 44AB of the Income Tax Act 1961, for fiscal year 2014-15 to November 30 from the previous date of September 30. However, it did not refer to the ITR.
A chartered accountant based in the capital told the media: “We decided to slug it out in courts since written representations and emails to authorities concerned went unheard.” The CA noted that no officials from any of the government agencies, including the CBDT, the finance ministry and apex professional institutes, participated or gave any ‘elicit response’ on the discussions on various public fora and social media over the issue.
A Delhi-based accounting firm, Mahesh Kumar & Co, submitted the writ petition to the DHC bench and the matter will be heard on September 15, media reports stated. The reports added that tax professionals and taxpayers from other parts of the country are also planning to move courts, claiming that the CBDT directive has added to confusion rather than providing any relief.
Commenting on the issue, a Kolkata-based tax profesional, who also heads an association of around 1,300 CAs, said: “It is not clear whether the due date for filing ITR under Section 139 of the Income Tax Act in cases where tax audit is applicable has also been extended.”
The Income Tax Act 1961 says that the deadline for filing the ITR is the same as that for filing TAR. In the present scenario, it is September 30 for some assessees and for others, November 30. A section of CAs say that the due date for furnishing TAR and the that for filing the ITR, where the taxpayers are required to get their accounts assessed under the act’s Section 139(1), share an inseparable relation.
According to the accounting experts, the ITR can be filed without the TAR, but this action is neither advisable nor practical as a taxpayer has to compute total income after taking into consideration various deductions which are based on the TAR.