The ongoing pandemic has unsettled most of us and has affected us in various different ways. Its effect on our health and finances has been explored and investigated and written about extensively. However, its effect on our schedules, a lot of which has been reliably timely, consistent and routine, has not been exhaustively covered. The ongoing pandemic has forced us at individual and societal level to make abrupt and erratic changes in our normal routines. Submissions have been postponed, deadlines have been pushed back, tasks have been deferred. So much has changed that it is difficult to keep track of all the adjustments and new deadlines that we have to abide by. This has also happened in the case of government deadlines on income tax. Since March 2020, the government has extended various tax-related deadlines and relaxed terms and conditions of certain post office investment schemes. This was done in a bid to assist the people like you and me to tide over many known and unknown difficulties we could face during the pandemic. Since our routine calendars have turned irregular in this scenario, given below is a list of important deadlines related to income tax tasks that you should keep in mind.
1. The last date for filing revised income tax returns for FY18-19 extended to September 30, 2020:
The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) earlier this week extended the deadline for filing income tax returns for FY2018-19 (AY 2019-20) from July 31, 2020 to September 30, 2020 due to COVID-19 pandemic.The CBDT has also said that an individual can also file a revised ITR for FY2018-19 within this deadline. It is to be noted that this is the third extension given by the Centre to taxpayers to file both original and revised tax returns for 2018-19 fiscal. In March, the Centre had extended the due date from March 31 to June 30 due to coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. Later in June, the date was again extended by a month till July 31, 2020.
2. Extension of date for filing income tax returns for FY2019-20 to November 30, 2020:
The government via a press conference in May announced that the income tax return (ITR) filing deadline for financial year 2019-20 has been extended to November 30, 2020 from the usual deadline of July 31, 2020.
3. Last date for submission of Form 16 – August 15,2020:
Recently, the IT department has extended the final date for employers to disperse Form 16 TDS certificate to its employees by 25 more days till August 15, 2020 for FY2019-20. Along with this, the income tax department has also extended the last date to file the TDS return in Form 24Q by one month till July 31.The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) issued in a statement that the reason of extension in deadline is for the reduction in TDS deductor’s distress for which they have to continuously obliged on the basis of revised format and multiples updates of file validation utility.Form 16 helps in filing ITRs. Employees who want to file their tax return or ITRs early can do so using their salary slips and Form 26AS.
4. Extension of date for claiming deduction on capital gains to September 30, 2020:
In June, the government had extended the date for making investment, construction, purchase for claiming deduction in respect of capital gains under Sections 54 to 54GB of the Income Tax Act to September 30, 2020. Section 54 relates to tax exemptions available from capital gains if the capital gains are invested in purchase or construction of residential property. Therefore, the investment, construction, purchase made up to September 30, 2020 shall be eligible for claiming deduction from capital gains.
5. Deadline for Vivad se Vishwas scheme on December 31,2020:
In Budget 2020, the government announced the Vivad Se Vishwas scheme to resolve direct tax disputes. Under this, all those who have tax appeals or petitions pending on or before January31, 2020 could get a complete waiver of interest or penalty, if they paid the disputed amount on or before the extended deadline of December 31, 2020.