41% small businesses say impossible to file ITR by Dec 31: Survey

As the deadline for filing of Income Tax Returns (ITR) is approaching closer, many of the small businesses, who are yet to file returns, find themselves in a troublesome situation to file their ITR by the given deadline. Around 41 per cent small businesses think that it is impossible to file their returns by December 31 and want an extension to the deadline, according to a survey by LocalCircles.

The survey showed that 30 per cent of the respondents already filed their returns while around 18 per cent have not filed yet and will comfortably do before the deadline, while 11 per cent believed that it will take significant effort doing it before the month end. Per aggregate views of small businesses, only 30 per cent small businesses have filed their income tax returns and audit report, while 41 per cent said it is impossible to do so by 31 December 2020 and need a deadline extension.

Among the individual taxpayers surveyed, 34 per cent of the respondents have not filed their returns yet, and 13 per cent said that they want an extension of the deadline as it would be impossible for them to file ITR by the end of December.

Around 48 per cent of individual taxpayers said that they have done it already earlier this year, and 18 per cent said they have done it in the last couple of months, while 8 per cent believed that it would take significant effort doing it before the deadline.

A LocalCircles statement noted that small businesses have had a highly challenging 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the lockdowns.

It was only after September when there were signs of pick up in business. For many small businesses it has been about recovering some of the accumulated losses from March-August this year.

It also said that for many small businesses, there is dependency on GST returns and business returns are typically more complicated than individual returns and many of them require several sittings and information exchange with their accounting professionals which have become difficult due to the pandemic.

Small businesses are keen that the deadline be extended to February 28, 2021 and at the very least till January 31, 2021, it said

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