NEW DELHI :
The income tax department is now revising income tax return (ITR) forms so that taxpayers can avail benefits of relief measures given by the government due to coronavirus lockdown.
"In order to enable income taxpayers to avail full benefits of various timeline extensions granted by the Government of India due to Covid-19 pandemic situations, the CBDT is revising the return forms for FY 2019-20 (Assessment Year 2020-21) which shall be notified by the end of this month," the finance ministry said in a release today.
The revised ITR forms would allow taxpayers to enjoy benefits of their transactions carried out during 1 April 2020 to 30 June 2020. It is also likely that the income tax department would extend the July 31 last date for filing of ITR this year.
Once the revised forms are notified, the income tax department will further necessitate the consequential changes in the software and return filing utility. The return filing utility after incorporating necessary changes shall be made available by May 31.
"Given that the government expects to notify the new ITR forms/ utilities by end of May 2020 coupled with the fact that still taxpayers will have time to make tax saving investments by 30th June, it may leave taxpayers with lesser time to comply with ITR filing by end of July. It would therefore be not unreasonable to expect an extension in due date of filing the ITRs as well, which may be announced by the government subsequently," Shailesh Kumar, Director, Nangia Andersen Consulting, said.
Due to the outbreak of Covid-19 and a nationwide lockdown which began from March 25, the government has extended various timelines including those relating to investments and expenses under Section 80C.
The deadline for making investment or payments for claiming deduction under Section 80C (LIC, PPF, NSC, ELSS mutual funds, etc.), 80D (Mediclaim), 80G (Donations), etc. for FY 2019-20 has been extended till June 30. Besides, the dates for making investment, construction or purchase for claiming roll over benefit for capital gains under has also been extended till June 30.
ITR forms are generally notified immediately after closure of relevant financial year in March, so that taxpayers can file their ITRs before the due date of 31 July. After making some changes related to disclosures, this year the income tax department had released ITR-1 (Sahaj) and ITR-4 (Sugam) forms in January itself.