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NEW DELHI : The income-tax (I-T) department on Thursday extended the date of filing income tax returns (ITRs) and report of audits to 31 December, from the previous deadline of 30 September.

The extension was made in view of the technical glitches that taxpayers and professionals have been reporting since the launch of the new e-filing portal. “On consideration of difficulties reported by the taxpayers in filing of Income Tax Returns (ITRs) & Audit reports for AY 2021-22 under the IT Act, 1961, CBDT further extends the due dates for filing of ITRs & Audit reports for AY 21-22. Circular No.17/2021 dated 09.09.2021 issued," the I-T department tweeted, along with the official notification.

This is the third time the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has extended the date for filing I-T returns for assessment year 2021-22.

The date for filing belated ITR returns was also extended by a month from 31 December to 31 January 2022 and reports from accountants on international transactions or specified domestic transactions under Section 92E can now be submitted by 31 January 2022, extended from the previous due date of 30 November.

The latest changes have come as no surprise to industry stakeholders. “There were so many glitches in the IT portal that it was only a matter of time before the tax department announced the extension," said Karan Batra, founder, charteredclub.com.

Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman on 23 August asked Infosys, which has built the new e-portal website of the I-T department, to fix the glitches until 15 September.

Sitharaman “demanded that the issues faced by taxpayers on current functionalities of the portal should be resolved by the team by 15 September, 2021, so that taxpayers and professionals can work seamlessly on the portal".

The I-T department on Thursday said the number of technical issues on the new ITR portal are being progressively addressed and 1.19 crore ITRs for the 2020-21 financial year have already been filed so far.

“A number of technical issues are being progressively addressed and there has been a positive trend reflected in the statistics of the various filings on the portal…. 1.19 crore ITRs for AY 2021-22 have been filed," CBDT said. “Of these, over 76.2 lakh taxpayers have used the online utility of the portal to file the returns," it said.

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