Taxpayers demand extension of due date to file ITR as Income Tax site faces glitch

As the deadline for filing the Income Tax return nears, the pressure on taxpayers to file the return on time has increased tremendously. Adding to the woes is the Income Tax site, which stopped working when the taxpayers rushed to file e-return to meet the deadline of 31 December, 2020.

Fed up of trying to connect to the website which did not load, taxpayers in a series of tweets have urged The Finance Minister to extend the due date for filing the income tax returns. Many social media users, who claimed to be chartered accountants, said they were able to file only one or two returns since morning 10.00 am, whereas many where not able to open the site at all.

FPJ was not able to access the reaction of the Income Tax department regarding the same. Neither did the Income Tax department issue any clarification as to why the site was not working.

Income tax department have been sending multiple reminders to the taxpayers through emails and SMSs as well as social media posts to file income tax return (ITR) for FY2019-20. Normally, the last date for filing a tax return is 31 July every year. However, due to the pandemic the last date has now been extended to 31 December 2020 this year.

More than 4.06 crore Income Tax Returns for AY 2020-21 have already been filed till 25th of December, 2020, the Income Tax department tweeted on Saturday. However, there are many people who are still appealing on social media for extension of the tax filing deadline.

Earlier, chartered accountants (CAs) from across the country have requested finance minister (FM) Nirmala Sitharaman to extend the deadlines for filing returns for income-tax (I-T), goods and services tax (GST) and other audit forms in view of the hardships caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. They have requested the FM to direct the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) to extend all the due dates for assessment year (AY)2020-21 to 31 March 2021.

Most professionals and tax payers across the country are of the view that it is very difficult to meet the various deadlines for income-tax compliances as their focus right now is on getting their operations on track. The shortage of manpower has paralysed the continuity of work. Such issues are making it difficult for most professionals and the taxpayers to adhere to the revised due dates of 31 December 2020."

Meanwhile, on Saturday the Income Tax department has introduced a new initiative called, 'Jhatpat Processing' to smoothen the ITR filing experience for taxpayers. This will help individuals in filing tax returns quickly in a seamless manner.

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