Hello Sir !! Why are we working in installment? (ITR forms next installment due now)

Finance Ministry

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Hello Sir !! Why are we working in installment?

(ITR forms next installment due now)

There are certain activities which have to be carried out annually by the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT). More prominent of this includes

  1. Release of Income Tax Return forms
  2. Notifying Cost Inflation Index

These are the annual activities which has to be done and are known to even a layman.

The painful part, everyone knows it but why the topmost ruler of the country don’t recognize it?

The best principles would have been, to release the ITR forms and its utility by 31st March when everything is aware that it has to be done.

Question is asked, whether anyone in the Government Machinery would be penalized by even Rs. 1/- for such a biggest failure on the part of the administrator? Was it such a gigantic task which could take so much time?

Is it unreasonable on the part of taxpayer that they would require some time to study and file the return? Anyone question or issuing notices to the law maker for the mess up & failure in handling the matter properly and timely?

Even after 1 ½ months, only 3 forms can be filed but utility for all other forms is still not released which means that return cannot be filed by other categories of person for which ITR form are not yet released. More particularly, firm, Companies, Trust yet cannot file the return.

Laws are amended without realizing the limitation of the Government and its Bureaucrats. For everything, the persons who are going to be penalized are taxpayers.

Income tax is often amended too wildly to impose the penalty on the taxpayers. And the funny part, the taxpayers are required to pay the penalty and fine without fault on their part. This working pattern is not new. It’s a repetition by every Government, be it Congress or BJP or Combination of all the political parties.  No one is showing maturity and practical approach in making or amending the laws.

Taxpayers need to recall that now it is mandatory for the taxpayer to file the income tax return within due date failing which taxpayer liable to pay a late fee from Rs. 1000/- to Rs. 10,000/- depending upon the period of delay and quantum of income.

The chronicle amendment increasing the accountability of the taxpayer is proposed for filing the income tax return from the financial year 2017-18 & onwards.

By virtue of the said amendment, if the return of income is not filed within due date (i.e., before 31st July or 30th September, as the case may be) then late fee would be leviable, which is as under:

  1. For taxpayer with income exceeding Rs. 5 Lakh, Late fee would be as under:
    a] Rs. 5000/- if return is filed by 31stDecember
    b] Rs. 10,000/- if return is field after 31st December.
  2. For taxpayer with income up to Rs. 5 Lakh, Late fee would be Rs. 1,000/-.

The taxpayers are penalized for every delay but there is no penalty for delay on the part of CBDT in notifying the forms or for not ensuring required infrastructure for the return filing. From the perspective of Finance Minister, it appears that Taxpayers and tax professionals are responsible for everything and anything. There is someone who is never responsible. That someone is Government Machinery, Politicians & Bureaucrats of the Country.

It was in the case of Delhi High Court in the case Avinash Gupta Vs. UOI where a historical & Landmark Judgment was delivered. The Hon’ble court has instructed the Government to ensure availability of forms for tax audit from the beginning of next assessment year. The Court has correctly taken the note of the fact of delay by CBDT in release of ITR forms which has become a habit of CBDT. The Judgment was expected to have a long lasting effect as it was expected to impose accountability & responsibility for timely release of Income Tax Forms.

Though the Court has given the instructions to release the form well in advance, still the form were not released till the first day of the new financial year.

On lot many hue and cry in the media over the delay on the part of the Government over the release of new forms, CBDT notified it in a hurry. However, that is also not at all useful. The release of forms were just a formality? Returns cannot be field except for ITR 1, 2 & 4 as the utility for other forms are yet not released.

Already almost 45 days (1/3rd of the allotted time) are over; still no utility is released by the Government.  The return cannot be filed by the taxpayer.  The release of ITR form is not serving any purpose in absence of the utility being released.

The scenario is prevailing despite the fact that the Court has already used harsh words against CBDT for delay in notifying the forms. Whether court also needs to use the same harsh word for utilitiy release?

 

Question is regarding the accountability & seriousness of the Government.

Whenever the Government extended the last date for filling return or uploading any report, whether they have apologized for not providing enough time to the taxpayer in complying with law within time? Whether the Government has ever apologized for the inconvenience caused to the taxpayers?

Rather, the dates are extended with the comment that “Representations are received from taxpayers so……”.

Let us be honest, let the Government say that the date is required to be extended because Government and its machinery has failed in doing its task honestly, properly and timely.

Taxpayer are left with no other question except to ask Mr. Finance Minister, where is the accountability?  Why to penalize taxpayer for your fault?Have we learned a lesson from our GST implementation system?

Anyone accountable here

Mr. Finance Minister?


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