Tax and Audit Deadlines in India in 2021

Posted by Written by Melissa Cyrill Reading Time: 9 minutes

We highlight key tax deadlines in India in 2021, including tax reporting dates, deadlines for audit compliance, and relevant dates for tax and finance obligations. These impact salaried taxpayers, businesses, and senior citizens.

It is important to note the latest dates and avoid incompliance and penalties due to exigencies; many deadlines have been extended (since last year) by the government due to the pandemic.

While the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has extended the due date for filing income tax returns (ITR), including those by salaried individuals, till December 31, assessees may have to pay interest up to two percent, as the the government has maintained its original position on the issue according to reports in the media.

“On consideration of difficulties reported by the taxpayers and other stakeholders in filing of Income Tax Returns and various reports of audit for the Assessment Year 2021-22 under the Income-tax Act, 1961, Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has decided to further extend the due dates for filing of the returns and various reports of audit for the Assessment Year 2021-22,” the Finance Ministry said.

The CBDT notified the forms for filing ITR for the fiscal year 2020-21 on April 1, 2021. For FY 2020-21, taxpayers in India were given the option to choose a new tax regime under section 115BAC of the Income Tax Act, 1961.

To prevent confusion regarding key tax reporting dates, businesses are welcome to reach out to our tax advisors at india@dezshira.com.

January 10, 2021

Deadline for salaried taxpayers filing income tax returns for FY 2019-20

Salaried taxpayers have until January 10 to file their tax returns for FY 2019-20 – without incurring penalty fees for late filing.

The government notified (December 30, 2020) that it had extended the filing date for individuals whose accounts did not require an audit. This is a relaxation on account of the ongoing pandemic.

Relevant tax return forms are: ITR-1, ITR-2, ITR-4.

The late fee for not filing on time is INR 10,000 for those whose annual income exceeds INR 500,000.

January 15, 2021

Latest deadline to submit tax audit reports for FY 2019-20

The government extended the deadline to submit the tax audit report and reports related to international and specified domestic transactions for FY 2019-20 from December 31, 2020 to January 15, 2021.

January 31, 2021

Deadline to file declaration under tax dispute settlement scheme, Vivad Se Vishwas

January 31, 2021 is the last date for filing a declaration under the Vivad Se Vishwas Scheme. The scheme was introduced in the 2020 Budget for those who wished to settle income tax disputes and reduce pending income tax litigation.

Vivad Se Vishwas facilitates the settlement of disputed tax, disputed interest, disputed penalty, or disputed fees in relation to an assessment or reassessment order on the payment of 100 percent of the disputed tax and 25 percent of the disputed penalty, interest, or fee.

February 15, 2021

ITR deadline for specified individuals, accounts that need to be audited for FY 2019-20

The last date for filing income tax returns (for FY 2019-20) for individuals whose accounts must be audited or who need to submit a report under Section 92E of the Income Tax Act is February 15, 2021. This affects individuals who have undertaken international or specified domestic financial transactions during the financial year ending 2020.

March 15, 2021

Deadline for advance tax payments

Advance tax liability is incurred when the estimated total tax liability (net of tax deducted at source or TDS) exceeds INR 10,000 in a financial year. Penalty interest will be triggered if the advance tax payment is not made by March 15.

Taxpayers should note that starting April 1, 2020 – the individual receiving divided income will be taxed as per income tax slab rates. (TDS is levied once the dividend income in a financial year is above INR 5,000.)

March 31, 2021

Revised or delayed ITR filing deadline for FY 2019-20

March 31 is the last date for individuals filing revised income tax returns for FY 2019-20.

Also, those individuals who are filing their FY 2019-20 tax returns late and don’t need their accounts to be audited – can do so by March 31, 2021 – but will have to pay the late penalty. This is INR 10,000; however, small taxpayers earning up to INR 500,000 in a financial year will not be required to pay more than INR 1,000 as late filing fee.

Deadline to file returns for FY 2020-21 to save on taxes

Those who wish to reduce their tax liability for FY 2020-21 can file their tax returns by March 31.

Deadline to make payment under Vivad Se Vishwas

For those who have filed a declaration to resolve a tax dispute under this scheme on or before January 31, 2021 must make the required payment by March 31, 2021.

Last date to avail Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme

This scheme was announced under the government’s stimulus package on May 13, 2020. It provides claimants fully guaranteed and collateral-free loans for business purposes (entities and businesspersons). The last date to avail benefits under this scheme is March 31, 2021.

Last date to avail credit subsidy under PMAY scheme

The Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) scheme offers credit-linked subsidies, subject to terms and conditions, on home loans to middle income groups (individuals earning between INR 600,000 to INR 1,800,000).

April 1, 2021

ITR forms announced for FY 2020-21 (Assessment Year 2021-22)

The government has notified updated income tax return filing forms for AY 2021-22. For example, ITR-1 asks for the quarterly breakup of dividend income, which became taxable in FY 2020-21. This information will be required for taxpayers claiming relief on the payment of advance tax under section 234C on dividend income.

In its press release, dated April 1, 2021, the Central Board of Direct Taxes stated: “Keeping in view the ongoing crisis due to COVID pandemic and to facilitate the taxpayers, no significant change have been made to the ITR Forms in comparison to the last year’s ITR Forms. Only the bare minimum changes necessitated due to amendments in the Income-tax Act, 1961 have been made.”

Choosing to transition to a different tax regime (i.e., the beneficial option between the old and new tax regimes)

The decision to choose a beneficial tax regime, either the old regime or the new one introduced in Budget 2020, for the financial year 2020-21 is required starting from April 1, 2021. Taxpayers can opt for the beneficial regime when filing their tax returns for FY 2020-21.

June 30, 2021

Last date to access tax incentive on purchase of new house

New home buyers can benefit from an income tax sop if their residential purchase is worth up to INR 20 million. The last date to avail this is June 30, 2021. According to tax experts, the government has increased the accepted differential between sale/purchase agreement value and circle rate from 10 percent to 20 percent for purpose of income tax calculation.

Last date to link Aadhaar and PAN

On March 31, the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) extended the deadline to link the two IDs until June 30, 2021, for a final extension. Thereafter, non-compliance will attract a penalty of up to INR 1,000.

This deadline was extended to September 30, 2021 and now March 31, 2022.

July 1, 2021

The Finance Act, 2021 has amended rules relating to Tax Deducted at Sources/Tax Collected at Sources that will come into effect starting July 1. New rules mandate tax deduction or tax collection at a higher rate in case the income tax returns are not filed by certain specified persons. Key changes relate to purchase of goods, pension income, and accelerated TDS rates for non-filers; taxpayers will face higher TDS if the Aadhar is not linked with PAN.

To know more, read our article: New TDS/TCS Provisions in India from July 1, 2021

July 15, 2021

Extended deadline for companies to issue Form-16

To provide some relief for tax compliance for companies during the pandemic, the government extended the deadline to issue Form-16 by a month, to July 15, 2021.

July 31, 2021

Deadline to file ITR for FY 2020-21

For individual taxpayers, the last date for filing their income tax returns for FY 2020-21 is July 31. This assessment year, taxpayers will have the option to choose between the existing tax regime or the new concessional tax regime. If the taxpayer opts for the new tax regime – they must file an additional form while filing their income tax return.

This deadline has been extended by two months to end of September 2021.

August 15, 2021

CBDT grants further relaxation in electronic filing of Income Tax Forms 15CA/15CB

In view of the difficulties reported by taxpayers in electronic filing of Income Tax Forms 15CA/15CB on the portal www.incometax.gov.in, it had earlier been decided by CBDT that taxpayers could submit Forms 15CA/15CB in manual format to the authorized dealer till July 15, 2021. It has now been decided to extend the aforesaid date to August 15, 2021.

Authorized dealers are advised to accept such Forms till 15th August, 2021 for the purpose of foreign remittances. A facility will be provided on the new e-filing portal to upload these forms at a later date for the purpose of generation of the Document Identification Number.

September 30, 2021

Deadline to file ITR for FY 2020-21 for individual taxpayers

The government on Thursday extended the due date of filing income tax returns for 2020-21 for individuals by two months, to September 30, 2021 due to the pandemic.

This deadline is now extended till December 31, 2021.

October 31, 2021

Deadline for furnishing tax audit report

This is the extended last date to furnish the audit report for FY 2020-21 for those assessees covered under the audit but do not have any international or specified domestic transactions. Previously, the deadline was September 30, 2021.

This deadline is now extended to January 15, 2022.

November 30, 2021

Deadline to file ITR for FY 2020-21 for companies

The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has also extended the ITR filing deadline for companies by a month till November 30; previously this was October 31, 2021. The move has been made to provide relief during the pandemic.

This deadline is now extended to February 15, 2022.

Deadline extended for filing transfer pricing certificate

This is the extended last date for furnish audit reports for transfer pricing cases. (Audit report for FY 2020-21 for assessee having international or specified domestic transactions (SDT) under Section 92E.) Previously, the deadline was October 31, 2021.

This deadline is now extended to January 31, 2022.

Deadline for return filing for audited assessees that do not have international transactions or SDT

Income tax return filing for FY 2020-21 for those assessees covered under the audit but do not have any international or specified domestic transactions. Previously, the deadline was October 31, 2021.

December 31, 2021

Deadline for return filing for audited assessees that report international transactions or SDT

Income tax return filing for FY 2020-21 for assessees that have reported international or specified domestic transactions under Section 92E. Previously, the deadline was November 30, 2021.

Filing of ITR by individuals for the financial year 2021 – new extended deadline

The second extended due date of furnishing of return of income for the Assessment Year 2021-22 (individuals and non-audit cases) [section 139(1)]. Previously, the deadline was extended to September 30, 2021. The last date is usually July 31.

January 15, 2022

Deadline for furnishing tax audit report

This is the extended last date to furnish the audit report for FY 2020-21 for those assessees covered under the audit but do not have any international or specified domestic transactions. Previously, the deadline was October 31, 2021.

January 31, 2022

Due date for Revised return / Belated return of income for FY 2020-21

This is the extended last date to file the income tax return for FY 2020-21; previously, the deadline was December 31, 2021.

Late filers have to pay a penalty fee. However, the maximum penalty fee will not exceed INR 1,000 for taxpayers whose total income does not exceed INR 500,000 in a financial year.

This deadline is extended to March 31, 2022.

Deadline extended for filing transfer pricing certificate

The due date for furnishing report from an accountant by persons entering into international transaction or specified domestic transaction during FY 2020-21 [section 92E]. It was previously November 30, 2021 and before that, October 31.

February 15, 2022

Deadline to file ITR for FY 2020-21 (AY 2021-22) for companies

The CBDT has extended the ITR filing deadline for companies (excluding TP cases) [section 139(1)] till February 15, 2022 from November 30, 2021.

February 28, 2022

TP cases – filing return of income for AY 2021-22

The extended due date of furnishing of Return of Income for the Assessment Year 2021-22 (transfer pricing cases) [section 139(1)]. Previously, the deadline was December 31, 2021.

March 31, 2022

Filing belated or revised return of income for AY 2021-22

The due date of furnishing of belated/revised return of income for the Assessment Year 2021-22 has been extended by another two months to March 31, 2022 [section 139(4)/139(5)]. Previously, it was January 31, 2022 and before that it was December 31, 2021.

Completion of penalty proceedings under the Income Tax Act

The CBDT has extended this deadline from September 30, 2021 to March 31, 2022.

Linkage of Aadhaar-PAN card

Extended from end September 2021 to end March 2022.

Archived: COVID compliance relief sees deadline extensions to May 31, 2021

Due to adverse circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic and in view of several requests received from taxpayers, tax consultants, and other stakeholders across India – various compliance dates have been relaxed by the government as can be referenced from the CBDT Circular No.8/2021 in F. No. 225/49/2021/ITA-II dated April 30, 2021. The said Circular is available on www.incometaxindia.gov.in.

  1. Appeal to Commissioner (Appeals) under Chapter XX of the Act, for which the last date of filing under that Section is April 1, 2021 or thereafter, may be filed within the time provided under that Section or by May 31, 2021, whichever is later.
  2. Objections to Dispute Resolution Panel (DRP) under Section 144C of the Act, for which the last date of filing under that Section is April 1, 2021 or thereafter, may be filed within the time provided under that Section or by May 31, 2021, whichever is later.
  3. Income-tax return in response to notice under Section 148 of the Act, for which the last date of filing of return of income under the said notice is April 1, 2021 or thereafter, may be filed within the time allowed under that notice or by May 31, 2021, whichever is later.
  4. Filing of belated return under sub-section (4) and revised return under sub-section (5) of Section 139 of the Act, for Assessment Year 2020-21, which was required to be filed on or before March 31, 2021, may be filed on or before May 31, 2021.
  5. Payment of tax deducted under Section 194-IA, Section 194-IB, and Section 194M of the Act, and filing of challan-cum-statement for such tax deducted, which are required to be paid and furnished by April 30, 2021 (respectively) under Rule 30 of the Income-tax Rules, 1962, may be paid and furnished on or before May 31, 2021.
  6. Statement in Form No. 61, containing particulars of declarations received in Form No.60, which is due to be furnished on or before April 30, 2021, may be furnished on or before May 31, 2021.

For temporary relief measures announced for GST taxpayers in India, see our article here: Relief Measures for Taxpayers Announced Under GST Law Due to Severity of COVID Wave

This article was originally published on January 6, 2021. It was last updated on September 13, 2021.


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India Briefing is produced by Dezan Shira & Associates. The firm assists foreign investors throughout Asia from offices across the world, including in Delhi and Mumbai. Readers may write to india@dezshira.com for business support in India.

 

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