ITR filing extension: All you need to know for individuals, companies, GST and 'Vivad se Vishwas' Scheme

As 2020 ends, the pressure to meet several deadlines have also increased on us. However, giving a breather to the tax payers who were under tremendous pressure to meet the December 31, 2020 deadline to file their returns, the Government on Wednesday have extended the deadline for ITR filing. The Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) said the government has been receiving several representations on the need to extend the deadline, on account of obstruction to business due to COVID-19-related restrictions.

ITR filing for individuals:

The deadline for filing income tax returns by individuals is extended by only 10 days to January 10, 2021. This has however failed to cheer up the chartered accountant fraternity as they fear that not all returns would be filed in just ten days of extension period. Considering this as the shortest extension ever given, professionals are demanding for extension up to January 31, 2021.

ITR filing for companies:

The deadline for filing income tax return for 2019-20 by companies is extended by 15 days to Feb 15, 2021. The last date was January 31, 2021 earlier. This is for companies who are required to get their accounts audited.

ITR filing for 'Vivad se Vishwas' Scheme:

The due date for filing declaration under the direct tax dispute resolution scheme 'Vivad se Vishwas' has been extended by a month to 31st January 2021, it was expiring on December 31st.

On 1st February 2020, the Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced the Direct Tax 'Vivad se Vishwas Scheme' during her speech for the Budget 2020. The Scheme was introduced to reduce to the pending income tax litigations present at multiple appellate forums and for more efficient collection of revenue.

Direct Tax Vivad se Vishwas Act, 2020 offers a win-win dispute resolution package that benefits the taxpayers as well as the Government.

Annual GST Return Filing:

In view of providing relief amid the COVID-19 crisis, the government has extended the due date for furnishing annual GST or goods and services tax returns for the financial year 2019-20 by two more months. The new deadline is February 28, 2021, instead of December 31, 2020. This is applicable to the businesses filing annual returns as well as audit reports for the year to March 31, 2020. Earlier, the taxman had extended the last date from October 31 to December 31, 2020. Now, businesses can file the annual return, using Form GSTR-9, as well as the reconciliation statement, Form GSTR-9C, for the financial year 2019-20 by February 28, 2021

Meanwhile, according to the statistics released by the income tax department, 5,68,824 ITRs have been filed up to 4.00 pm today and 84,468 ITRs filed in the last one hour, it said in its tweet.

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