Various income tax-related deadlines for individuals have been extended to June 30, 2020 via an ordinance dated 31 March 2020 by the government due to the impact of the coronavirus lockdown. As per chartered accountants the deadline for employers to issue the TDS certificate i.e. Form 16 for FY2019-20 to employees also stands extended to June 30, 2020.
It would be difficult for employees to file their income tax returns by July 31 – the usual deadline for most individuals to file their tax return – if they get their salary TDS certificates as late as June 30. Consequently, it is likely that the deadline of July 31 to file ITRs would also be extended, they say. This has also been the trend whenever the deadline to issue Form 16 has been extended in earlier years.
As per income tax laws, the last date for filing TDS returns for an employer is May 31 and Form 16 has to be issued latest by June 15, unless the date is extended by the government. Therefore, before the extension of deadlines, for FY 2019-20, the deadline for filing TDS returns for employers was May 31, 2020 and the date of issuing Form 16 was June 15, 2020.
Last year also, the government had extended the last date for filing TDS returns for FY 2018-19 to June 30, 2019 and deadline to issue Form 16 to July 10, 2019. An extension of these deadlines last year led to extension of the ITR filing deadline for FY 2018-19 to August 31, 2019.
ET Wealth Online spoke to various experts, and this is what they had to say:
Shalini Jain, Partner, EY India says, “As per the Ordinance passed by the government on 31 March 2020, where the due date for filing of any appeal, reply, or application or furnishing of any report, document, return, statement or such other record, by whatever name called, under the provisions of the specified Act falls during the period from the 20 March 2020 to 29 June 2020, the same shall stand extended to 30 June 2020 or such other date after 30 June 2020, as the central government may, by notification, specify in this behalf. Therefore, the due date for filing of TDS return by the employer (Form 24Q) for Quarter 4 of the FY 2019-20 and issue of Form 16 to the employees for FY 2019-20 shall be deferred to 30 June 2020.”
Abhay Sharma, Partner, Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas and Company says, “On a plain reading of the ordinance, date for filing a TDS return and issuing Form 16 for the financial year 2019-20 seem to have been extended to June 30th.”
Abhishek Soni, CEO & Founder, Tax2win.in, an ITR filing website says, “In our view, the due date of TDS Return filing and Form 16 due date is extended to June 30 as per the said ordinance.”
Saraswathi Kasturirangan, Partner, Deloitte India says, “Yes, the government has extended the date for filing TDS returns by the employer from May 31, 2020 to June 30, 2020 for the FY 2019-20. Similarly, the last date to issue Form 16 by the employer to employee has also been extended to June 30, 2020.”
Is the ITR filing deadline for FY 2019-20 for individuals likely to be extended?
Chartered Accountant Naveen Wadhwa, DGM, Taxmann.com says, “Previously, the government has always extended the due dates for filing of Income-tax return if the due date for issue of Form 16 and Form 16A has been extended. Looking at the previous trend, we may expect that the due date for filing of ITR for the assessment year 2020-21 shall certainly be extended for those taxpayers who are liable to file the return by 31-07-2020.”
Kasturirangan says, “It is likely that the government may have to extend the deadline to file ITR for FY 2019-20 from July 31, 2020, to a later date to provide ample time to the individual taxpayers to file an income tax return. Further, the govt is yet to notify the ITR forms (other than ITR-1).”
Soni says, “Due to the extension of Form 16 due date, it is expected that the due date of ITR filing of FY 2019-20 will also be extended consequently.”