Will ITR filing deadlines for the fiscal years 2021–2022 be extended?

ITR filing

The final day for ITR filing for the fiscal year 2021–2022 (AY 2022–2023) is July 31, 2022. To file their ITRs, many taxpayers, however, seem to wait until the very last minute. Some people have even speculated that similar to the past two years, the government may once again extend the deadline. For the previous two years, the ITR filing due dates and other income tax-related deadlines have been routinely pushed back. It was due to the coronavirus epidemic and technical issues with the recently built income tax system.

ITR filing
Courtesy pic: www.dnaindia.com

The IT department said on July 2, 2022, using its official Twitter account, that Infosys, a software supplier, is making “proactive efforts” to address the portal’s “irregular traffic.”

It has been observed that taxpayers are having issues logging into the ITD e-filing system. Since there has been some unusual activity on the portal, as per @Infosys, preventative measures are being put in place. It is regrettable that some users may experience inconvenience. Income Tax Department tweeted about the situation.

Given that taxpayers are once again complaining about issues with the e-filing portal, what are the chances that the government would extend the ITR filing deadline this year? In addition, according to tax professionals, the bulk of taxpayers (more than 6 crore individuals) have yet to file their tax returns.

In the first seven days of July, just 30 lakh ITRs were filed, as per data provided by the IT department. As of July 7th, a total of 99 lakh papers had been filed. There are still unsubmitted ITRs worth about 6.5 crores. Considering that there are less than 15 days till the due date, it seems exceedingly difficult.

Courtesy pic: www.ndtv.com

ITR filing deadline postponement for a second time this year: is it possible?

The income tax department tweeted on July 2, 2022, immediately following the conclusion of the first year of operation of the new income tax e-filing site, concerning difficulties people were having accessing the income tax portal (due to irregular traffic). Many customers complained about encountering technical issues at the new tax portal’s introduction. These included being unable to access their accounts, being unable to view previous ITR data, etc.

It is noteworthy, though, that neither the Tweet nor the CBDT includes any particular information on extending the taxpayers’ July 2022 due date, nor have they issued any formal circulars or notifications on the subject.

The new income tax portal has drawn criticism for quite some time. Although the finance ministry released information on the new portal’s efficient operation, its effectiveness in a typical operating scenario has to be examined. The prior returns were staggered owing to postponed schedules and were posted throughout the COVID period.

ITR filing on the website has a number of issues

The technical evaluation is likely to cause a small increase in system demand and traffic. The income tax department should consider the challenges faced by the taxpayers while deciding whether to grant an extension.  This includes technological difficulties, inconsistent portal operation, and delayed utility delivery

Furthermore, ITR filing after July 31 (unless an extension is granted) may result in penalties like increased interest liabilities under section 234A and a late charge under section 234F of the Income-tax Act. Additionally, the taxpayer can be subject to limitations on the set-off and carryover of losses. In light of this, every taxpayer should make a commitment to submit their tax forms by July 31.

It is best for people to file their ITR before the deadline given the irregular website traffic. Moreover, the new income tax system functions rather effectively. Therefore, it seems that even if the CBDT keeps pushing back the deadline, it might only be a short period.

Courtesy pic: www.livemint.com

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By Poonam

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