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Deadline extended to August 5, 2017: Income Tax Filing return

The Deadline for filing income-tax returns this year has been extended to August 5. The original deadline for filing income tax returns for FY 2016-17 was July 31, 2017.

The extension is a welcome relief for a large number of tax payers struggling to meet the deadline in the face of various problems.

This year there have been multiple changes which impact income tax return filing. These include: Requirement of linking PAN with Aadhaar, compulsory quoting of Aadhaar in tax returns, receiving TDS certificates late (as compared to earlier years) from employers and other deductors and chartered accountants being busy with GST. Further, the income tax department’s efiling website has been running erratic and also seen shut downs (of several hours) for maintenance over the last fortnight.

Deadline to issue TDS certificates by banks and other deductors was extended this year.

Due to this revision, the deadline for these deductors to issue Form 16A (for FY 2016-17) automatically got extended. According to the changed rules, the deadline for filing TDS returns by these entities was extended by 15 days from May 15 earlier to May 31. This allowed banks to issue Form 16A to their customers up till June 15, 2017 for FY2016-17.

This means that while earlier banks etc. were legally required to issue TDS certificates for a particular financial year to customers .

In fact, several banks actually took advantage of this and issued TDS certificates on or just before June 15, 2017. Consequently, customers got their TDS certificates this year later than in previous years. It is advisable to check the TDS in these certificates before filing one’s return. Therefore, tax payers waiting to get these TDS certificates would have found it difficult to finalise their returns till after June 15.

Extension of deadline for employers to give TDS certificate /Form 16 to their employees

Earlier the last date for employers to issue Form 16 to their employees was May 31 of the assessment year. Assessment year is the financial year immediately following the FY for which the return is to be filed.

However, the finance ministry in its notification dated June 2nd, 2017 revised the deadline for issuing TDS certificates for FY2016-17 to employees by employers. As per the notification, the new deadline is now June 15 of the assessment year as against May 31st earlier.

Changes in form along with additional compliance requirement of quoting Aadhaar/Enrolment ID

Last Union budget introduced additional compliance requirements for taxpayers. Starting July 1, 2017 it has become mandatory to link your PAN with Aadhaar and quote the Aadhaar number while filing ITR.

There have been cases reported where income tax e-filing website is not allowing the taxpayers to file ITR unless Aadhaar is linked with the PAN. Some people are facing genuine issues in linking of PAN with Aadhaar as there is mismatch in the details.

Chartered Accountants being busy with the arrival of GST

With the onset of the new indirect tax regime- GST, chartered accountants are very busy helping their business clients. GST being a huge change is taking up a lot of their time and would also be getting them a lot of consultancy business.

Consequently, they may not have been able to spare as much time as before to advise individuals on direct tax filing and returns in some cases may be getting delayed.

Considering all these reasons we think that department should allow some relief by extending the due date by few days.

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