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India Extends E-Filing Deadline For Corporates

by Mary Swire,, Hong Kong

02 October 2015

The Indian Finance Ministry has decided to extend the e-filing deadline for corporates by one month to the end of October in response to a number of conflicting court decisions on the issue.

Mandatory electronic payment of taxes for corporate payers liable to audit under Section 44AB of the Income Tax Act came into force on April 1, 2008. This stipulates that taxpayers must submit both their income tax return and audit report annually by September 30 for the previous year of assessment. However, the Central Board of Direct Taxation caused much confusion earlier this year when it issued an extension of the audit report deadline to November 30 without confirming whether the extension also applied to income tax returns, with both sets of documents usually filed at the same time.

After representations to the tax authorities for clarification of this issue apparently went unanswered, a number of tax advisers sought an answer in court. However, this process seems to have caused even greater uncertainty, with some judges ruling in favor of a filing extension and others deciding against.

Adding to the confusion, the Government recently declared that an order, which had stated that the deadline for filing the audit report had been extended to October 15, 2015, was fake. On September 28, a tax authority spokesperson confirmed that the order, signed by "Upmanyu Reddy," was "fraudulent."

However, the Finance Ministry has since issued a statement, dated October 1, confirming that all returns that were due to be filed by September 30, 2015, may now be filed by October 31, 2015, in order to "avoid discrimination between taxpayers residing in different jurisdictions and to be fair to all, and also in view of paucity of time to approach the... Supreme Court by way of Special Leave Petition."

The statement added that the necessary order under the Income Tax Act has been made by the CBDT.

TAGS: court | compliance | Finance | tax | tax compliance | India | corporation tax | audit | Tax

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