The Gujarat High Court on Thursday rejected a petition filed by The Gujarat Federation of Tax Consultants seeking an extension of due dates for Tax Audit Report (TAR) and (ITR) Income Tax Return.
The division bench of Justice JB Pardiwala and IJ Vora observed that CBDT may consider issuing an appropriate circular taking a lenient view of late filing of Tax Audit Reports as provided under section 271B of the Act.
High Court’s observation on the extension
The Court said that it may be easy to issue a writ of mandamus, as prayed for, saying that if the time limit has been extended in the past on three occasions, then why not for one last time up to March 31, 2021.
However, such a line of reasoning or approach may upset the entire functioning of the government and may lead to undesirable results. Hence petition is rejected without interfering, the court said.
CBDT had declined to exercise its power under Section 119 of the Act. The court observed that the board said the issue of hardship was dealt with considerably at the relevant point of time and that is why the time limit was extended thrice. The Board has now thought fit in the interest of the revenue not to extend the period any further, the court said.
The advocate appearing for the petitioner submitted before the court that, daily Tax Audit Reports filed in 2021 are less than half compared to what was filed in 2019. In such circumstances, it is unrealistic to expect that a 25% shortfall can be met in the last five days.
He argued that the US has given an extension of six months while the CBDT has given an extension of 3.5 months.
The government had earlier extended the deadline for filing of ITR for individuals whose accounts are not required to be audited up to January 10, 2021. Whereas taxpayers such as companies whose accounts are required to be audited were given an extension up to February 15, 2021.
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