COVID-19 | I-T department seeks extension of limitation date

Empty benches at Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus on Monday.

Empty benches at Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus on Monday.  

Department writes to CBDT chairman saying only 2% officers attending office

The Mumbai income tax department has written to the CBDT chairman seeking an extension of the date of limitation in the wake of the COVID-19 scare. The limitation was due on March 31.

Senior officials said while 10% attendance in income tax offices is mandatory, less than 2% of officers are coming to work. In such a situation, and keeping in mind the cancellation of local trains, the city’s lifeline, the date of limitation of March 31 should be extended, the letter from Satish Gupta, principal chief commissioner, income tax, Mumbai, to the CBDT chairman said.

Under the Income Tax Act, 1962, there is a limit of completion of assessment, reassessment and recomputation. This could be two years from the end of the assessment year in which the income was first assessable, or one year from the end of the financial year. The time-barring period applies to other schemes and functions as well.

“We have less than 2% of officials turning up for duty in these unprecedented circumstances. There is no way we will be able to complete time-barring matters and implement other schemes on before the date of limitation. Therefore, we have sent a proposal, but it is ultimately the government’s call,” said an I-T official.

The letter has said with just 10% of the staff strength, it would be difficult to process a lot of functions including the Vivad se Vishwas or the direct tax dispute tax resolution scheme, besides resolving cases under the Black Money Act. “We had requested major corporate houses to volunteer to settle the assessment disputes before March 31 or pay 10% extra after the due date. These can of course wait since several of our offices are taken over by the local corporation for COVID duty,” said an official.

Among other functions, the letter said, the processing of returns, reopening of assessment, and measures like revision and setting aside of assessment orders are affected. “The travel of our officers will not only risk their personal safety but also safety of the community,” the proposal said.

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Printable version | Apr 7, 2020 1:22:15 PM |

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