Due Date Extension: Only for companies or all other Assessee?

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Due Date Extension: Only for companies or all other Assessee?

 
 
Various newspaper has published the news that the due date of ITR filing for corporate is extended. Newspaper nowhere mentions that the date is extended for individuals covered by tax audit provision and for the firm / trust etc.
There are lot of calls and enquiries as to whether the date is extended for individuals in audit limit, trusts, LLP, Firm covered by audit provision or not?
Let us know about it. The relevant part of the Circular No. 01/2022 Dated 11th January 2022 which provides for -Extension of timelines for filing of Income-tax returns and various reports of audit for the Assessment Year 2021-22 in relevant part provides as under:
On consideration of difficulties reported by the taxpayers and other stakeholders due to COVID and in electronic filing of various reports of audit under the provisions of the Income-tax Act,1961 (Act), the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), in exercise of its powers under Section 119 of the Act, provides relaxation in respect of the following compliances:
  1. The due date of furnishing of Report of Audit under any provision of the Act for the Previous Year 2020-21, which was 30th September 2021, in the case of assessees referred in clause (a) of Explanation 2 to sub-section (1) of section 139 of the Act, as extended to 31st October 2021 and 15th January 2022 by Circular 9/2021 dated 20.05.2021 and Circular No.17/2021 dated 09.09.2021 respectively, is hereby further extended to 15th February, 2022;
  2. The due date of furnishing of Report of Audit under any provision of the Act for the Previous Year 2020-21, which was 31st October, 2021, in the case of assessees referred in clause (aa) of Explanation 2 to sub-section (1) of section 139 of the Act, is hereby extended to 15th February, 2022;
  3. The due date of furnishing of Report from an Accountant by persons entering into international transaction or specified domestic transaction under section 92E of the Act for the Previous Year 2020-21, which was 31st October 2021, as extended to 30th November 2021 and 31st January 2022 by Circular 9/2021 dated 20.05.2021 and Circular No.17/2021 dated 09.09.2021 respectively, is hereby further extended to 15th February, 2022;
  4. The due date of furnishing of Return of Income for the Assessment Year 2021-22, which was 31st October 2021 under sub-section (1) of section 139 of the Act, as extended to 30th November 2021 and 15th February 2022 by Circular No.9/2021 dated 20.05.2021 and Circular No.17/2021 dated 09.09.2021 respectively, is hereby further extended to 15th March, 2022;
  5. The due date of furnishing of Return of Income for the Assessment Year 2021-22, which was 30th November 2021 under sub-section (1) of section 139 of the Act, as extended to 31st December 2021 and 28th February 2022 by Circular 9/2021 dated 20.05.2021 and Circular No.17/2021 dated 09.09.2021 respectively, is hereby further extended to 15th March, 2022.
Clarification 1: It is clarified that this extension shall not apply to Explanation 1 to section 234A of the Act, in cases where the amount of tax on the total income as reduced by the amount as specified in clauses (i) to (vi) of sub-section (1) of that section exceeds one lakh rupees.
Clarification 2: For the purpose of Clarification 1, in case of an individual resident in India referred to in sub-section (2) of section 207 of the Act, the tax paid by him under section 140A of the Act within the due date (without extension under Circular No.9/2021, Circular No.17/2021 and this Circular) provided in that Act, shall be deemed to be the advance tax.
It may be noted that the date is extended for
  1. Person covered by clause (a) of Explanation 2 to sub-section (1) of section 139 of the Act
  2. Person covered by clause (aa) of Explanation 2 to sub-section (1) of section 139 of the Act
  3. Persons for whom the otherwise the due date was 31st October, 2021 as provided under sub-section (1) of section 139
  4. Persons for whom the otherwise the due date was 30th November, 2021 as provided under sub-section (1) of section 139
Now one need to check as to the class of person who fall in above four categories. Let us have a look:
  1. Category 1 & 2:
    Person covered by clause (a) of Explanation 2 to sub-section (1) of section 139 of the Act
    Explanation 2.—In this sub-section, “due date” means,—
    (a) where the assessee other than an assessee referred to in clause (aa) is—
 (i)  a company; or
 (ii)  a person (other than a company) whose accounts are required to be audited under this Act or under any other law for the time being in force; or
(iii) a 40[***] partner of a firm whose accounts are required to be audited under this Act or under any other law for the time being in force 41[or the spouse of such partner if the provisions of section 5A applies to such spouse],
the 42[31st day of October] of the assessment year;

(aa) in the case of an assessee 43[, including the partners of the firm or the spouse of such partner (if the provisions of section 5A applies to such spouse), being such assessee,] who is required to furnish a report referred to in section 92E, the 30th day of November of the assessment year;

It may be noted that the date extension circular mentions about clause (a) to Explanation. Clause (a) has three sub clauses and the circular is not restricting the benefit of date extension to sub clause (i) only. Rather, the benefit of date extension is applicable to clause (a) which means that all the taxpayers who are covered within the three sub clauses will get the benefit of date extension
Category 3 & 4:
Person covered by clause (a) of Explanation 2 to sub-section (1) of section 139 of the Act
Again the due date is govermed by the above clasue (a) & (aa) which is discussed above. It would mean that the benefit of date extension is applicable to clause (a) which means that all the taxpayers who are covered within the three sub clauses will get the benefit of date extension. Similary benefit is available to assessee covered by clause (aa) as well.
In short, the due date extension benefit is not restricted to corproates only but also available to other taxpayers.
For ease of reference and access, the relevant part of section 139 is produced hereunder:
Return of income.
  1. (1) Every person,—
(a)  being a company or a firm; or
(b)  being a person other than a company or a firm, if his total income or the total income of any other person in respect of which he is assessable under this Act during the previous year exceeded the maximum amount which is not chargeable to income-tax,
shall, on or before the due date, furnish a return of his income or the income of such other person during the previous year, in the prescribed38 form and verified in the prescribed manner and setting forth such other particulars as may be prescribed :
Provided that a person referred to in clause (b), who is not required to furnish a return under this sub-section and residing in such area as may be specified by the Board in this behalf by notification in the Official Gazette, and who during the previous year incurs an expenditure of fifty thousand rupees or more towards consumption of electricity or at any time during the previous year fulfils any one of the following conditions, namely :—
(i)  is in occupation of an immovable property exceeding a specified floor area, whether by way of ownership, tenancy or otherwise, as may be specified by the Board in this behalf; or
(ii) is the owner or the lessee of a motor vehicle other than a two-wheeled motor vehicle, whether having any detachable side car having extra wheel attached to such two-wheeled motor vehicle or not; or
(iii) [***]
(iv) has incurred expenditure for himself or any other person on travel to any foreign country; or
(v)  is the holder of a credit card, not being an “add-on” card, issued by any bank or institution; or
(vi) is a member of a club where entrance fee charged is twenty-five thousand rupees or more,
shall furnish a return, of his income during any previous year ending before the 1st day of April, 2005, on or before the due date in the prescribed form and verified in the prescribed manner and setting forth such other particulars as may be prescribed :
Provided further that the Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, specify the class or classes of persons to whom the provisions of the first proviso shall not apply :
Provided also that every company or a firm shall furnish on or before the due date the return in respect of its income or loss in every previous year :
Provided also that a person, being a resident other than not ordinarily resident in India within the meaning of clause (6) of section 6, who is not required to furnish a return under this sub-section and who at any time during the previous year,—
(a)  holds, as a beneficial owner or otherwise, any asset (including any financial interest in any entity) located outside India or has signing authority in any account located outside India; or
(b)  is a beneficiary of any asset (including any financial interest in any entity) located outside India,
shall furnish, on or before the due date, a return in respect of his income or loss for the previous year in such form and verified in such manner and setting forth such other particulars as may be prescribed:
Provided also that nothing contained in the fourth proviso shall apply to an individual, being a beneficiary of any asset (including any financial interest in any entity) located outside India where, income, if any, arising from such asset is includible in the income of the person referred to in clause (a) of that proviso in accordance with the provisions of this Act:
Provided also that every person, being an individual or a Hindu undivided family or an association of persons or a body of individuals, whether incorporated or not, or an artificial juridical person, if his total income or the total income of any other person in respect of which he is assessable under this Act during the previous year, without giving effect to the provisions of clause (38) of section 10 or section 10A or section 10B or section 10BA or section 54 or section 54B or section 54D or section 54EC or section 54F or section 54G or section 54GA or section 54GB or Chapter VI-A exceeded the maximum amount which is not chargeable to income-tax, shall, on or before the due date, furnish a return of his income or the income of such other person during the previous year, in the prescribed form and verified in the prescribed manner and setting forth such other particulars as may be prescribed:
39[Provided also that a person referred to in clause (b), who is not required to furnish a return under this sub-section, and who during the previous year—
(i)  has deposited an amount or aggregate of the amounts exceeding one crore rupees in one or more current accounts maintained with a banking company or a co-operative bank; or
(ii)  has incurred expenditure of an amount or aggregate of the amounts exceeding two lakh rupees for himself or any other person for travel to a foreign country; or
(iii) has incurred expenditure of an amount or aggregate of the amounts exceeding one lakh rupees towards consumption of electricity; or
(iv) fulfils such other conditions as may be prescribed,
shall furnish a return of his income on or before the due date in such form and verified in such manner and setting forth such other particulars, as may be prescribed.]
Explanation 1.—For the purposes of this sub-section, the expression “motor vehicle” shall have the meaning assigned to it in clause (28) of section 2 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 (59 of 1988).
Explanation 2.—In this sub-section, “due date” means,—
(a) where the assessee other than an assessee referred to in clause (aa) is—
 (i)  a company; or
 (ii)  a person (other than a company) whose accounts are required to be audited under this Act or under any other law for the time being in force; or
(iii) a 40[***] partner of a firm whose accounts are required to be audited under this Act or under any other law for the time being in force 41[or the spouse of such partner if the provisions of section 5A applies to such spouse],
the 42[31st day of October] of the assessment year;
(aa) in the case of an assessee 43[, including the partners of the firm or the spouse of such partner (if the provisions of section 5A applies to such spouse), being such assessee,] who is required to furnish a report referred to in section 92E, the 30th day of November of the assessment year;
(b)  in the case of a person other than a company, referred to in the first proviso to this sub-section, the 31st day of October of the assessment year;
(c)  in the case of any other assessee, the 31st day of July of the assessment year.
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