Legal advice to the Tax Service not to extend the deadline for filing the RTI


The All Odisha Tax Advocates Association (AOTAA) has issued a legal opinion to the Central Council of Direct Taxes (CBDT) not to extend the RTI filing deadline for the filing of Odisha assessor returns for the year d ‘2021-2022 assessment and imposing a late filing fee under Section 234F of the Income Tax Act, 1961 despite numerous technical issues in the new Income Tax Department portal . (ET Wealth Online has a copy of the Legal Notice.)

“Please note that after receipt of this letter, if your good offices do not extend the deadline for filing income tax returns as well as tax audit reports to 03/31/2022, our association would then be forced to file the PIL in the Honorable High Court of Orissa with a prayer asking you to extend the deadline for filing the tax audit declaration and reports for the assessment year: 2021-2022 and to reimburse the late filing fees collected u / s.234F from Agir ”, specifies the legal notice of January 4, 2022.

According to the legal opinion, “although the former portal of the Income Tax Department worked perfectly and was user-friendly, the Union Ministry of Finance entrusted M / s Infosys Ltd with the development of the new portal after the start of the tax year: 2021-2022. That, in accordance with previous instructions from the Honorable High Courts CBDT, failed to upload the diagram of the return forms to the portal on time.

The deadline for filing the income tax return (RTI) for the 2020-2021 fiscal year (December 31, 2021) has not been further extended by the government. Even though the ITR filing deadline was extended twice for the fiscal year, many were unable to complete the fiscal year on time due to numerous issues on the newly launched e-filing portal.

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The legal opinion also pointed out: That the new portal has been designed in such a way that it takes maximum time to complete the return forms and download them. On some occasions, the portal has been suspended between filling out the RTI forms, causing inconvenience to assessors for whom assessors as well as tax professionals have encountered great difficulty in completing these forms before 31 / 12/2021.

These are the other points mentioned in the AOTAA legal opinion as to why the ITR deadline should be extended.

1. That in the letter of request dated 12/27/2021, the aforementioned association raised other points of suffering of the people assessed from Odisha, namely: dealing with frequent cyclones, rains due to low pressure, poor internet connection and electrical installation, people also assessed as professionals suffering from COVID-19, non-cooperation of banks to obtain transaction records, etc.

2. That before filling out the income tax return, it takes more time to check the form No. 26-AS, AIS and TIS etc. Relevant to mention here that in most cases AIS data was not available for download due to server issues. In addition, in most cases there is a lot of inconsistency in the information reported in TIS compared to the actual details and the same ones reported in Form No. 26AS as well. This resulted in an additional burden on taxpayers to reconcile the differences before filing the ITRs to ensure that there would be no further notices, unwarranted adjustments u / s.143 (1) of the Act and unnecessary hassle after filing the tax return. Income statements.

3. That the technical issues in the new portal were the top woo of tax professionals as well as assessors to file their tax return on time.

4. That the government does not have kiosks or help desks, etc.

5. That the return forms were made so complicated that it took hours to complete them by the tax professionals. The condition was even more terrible in the case of appraisals that wanted to file their own RTIs.

6. That Infosys Ltd has developed the portal in such a new design that sometimes the screen page disappears for no reason and the technical issues are that it cannot be described in words.

7. That appraisers from various parts of India, including Odisha State, have requested Your Honor to extend the due date in order to file tax returns of appraisers within the time limits set by the law, but it was not accepted.

8. To the great surprise, on the eve of December 31, 2021, the learned Principal Secretary (Revenue), Ministry of Finance of the Union during a press meeting suggested to the taxpayer community that the filing deadline of ITRs would not be extended.

9. That many assessors have submitted some of the documents to the tax professionals, but their returns could not be filed on time, for which said professionals will pay a late filing fee (u / s. 234F) to government on behalf of those assessed. .

10. That it is urgent to extend the dates for filling in declarations and tax audit reports to an appropriate date in order to leave a reasonable period of time for taxpayers and professionals to comply with legal obligations.

11. That it is unnecessary to mention here that, the levy of the late filing fee on those assessed u / s.234F must be postponed until March 31, 2022 under the above circumstances.


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