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The Chamber of Tax Consultants & Others Versus Union of India & Others

2015 (10) TMI 262 - BOMBAY HIGH COURT

Extension of date for filing returns of income in the ITR Form Nos. 3,4,5,6, and 7 to 31st October, 2015 - extension seeked on the ground that on similar grievances such a prayer has been finally allowed by orders in Vishal Garg v/s. Union of India (2015 (9) TMI 1307 - PUNJAB & HARYANA HIGH COURT) and All Gujarat Federation of Income Tax Consultants v/s. Central Board of Direct Taxes (2015 (10) TMI 25 - GUJARAT HIGH COURT ) - Held that:- The present situation has arisen only in view of the delay .....

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15 by an order dated 2nd September, 2015 under Section 119 of the Act. This on the ground that the delay in notifying the forms would cause great hardship to the tax payers. We are unable to appreciate how a delay of 83 days in making the ITR Form Nos.1,2, 2A and 4S in case of non-audit will cause great prejudice and delay of 120 days in making ITR Form Nos.3,4,5,6 and 7 does not cause any prejudice. The Gujarat High Court noted that the Scheme of the Act indicates that ordinarily a period of 18 .....

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the subject Assessment Year for the benefit of the assessee. However, in case, there is any delay, the same should be recorded in writing and also consider whether in view of the delay, an extension of time in filing return is warranted.

Taking into account the fact that the decision of the Gujarat High Court and Punjab and Haryana High Court have been accepted by the CBDT issuing orders under Section 119 of the Act but very unfairly in case of an all India Statute restricting its ben .....

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ptember, 2015 to 31st October,2015. - Writ Petition (L) No. 2764 of 2015 - Dated:- 30-9-2015 - M. S. Sanklecha And G. S. Kulkarni, JJ. For the Petitioner : Dr. K. Shivram, Rahul Hakani, V. B. Joshi, Rahul Sarda, Neelam Jadhav For the Respondent :Suresh Kumar JUDGMENT 1. Rule. 2. At the very outset, it was impressed upon us that the last date for filing return of income in ITR Forms Nos. 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 is today, i.e., September 30, 2015. It is in the aforesaid circumstances that the petitioners .....

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Federation of Tax Consultants v. CBDT [2015] 378 ITR 160 (Guj)). 3. Our attention was also specifically drawn to the fact that for the present, the Central Board of Direct Taxes ("the CBDT") have accepted the decision of the Gujarat High Court and the Punjab and Haryana High Court referred to herein above. Inasmuch as on September 30, 2015, the following two orders under section 119 of the Income-tax Act, 1961 ("the Act") have issued : First order "The Central Board of D .....

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ory of Chandigarh. 2. This order shall be subject to the outcome of any further appeal/ special leave petition which the Central Board of Direct Taxes may file against the said judgment." Second order "The Central Board of Direct Taxes, in compliance with the order of hon'ble Gujarat High Court dated September 29, 2015, in the case of All Gujarat Federation of Tax Consultants v. CBDT (Special Civil Application No. 15075 of 2015)- [2015] 378 ITR 160 and in exercise of the powers con .....

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ered by the Gujarat High Court and the Punjab and Haryana High Court have been restricted only in respect of the assessees within the State of Punjab and Haryana, Union Territory of Chandigarh and the State of Gujarat. In the circumstances, we heard the petitioner's prayer for interim reliefs. 5. Before proceeding further, it may be pointed out that this petition first listed on board on September 23, 2015, at that time, the petition was adjourned to September 28, 2015, at 3 p. m. on the joi .....

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irections under section 119 of the Act. 7. Mr. Suresh Kumar, learned counsel appearing for the Revenue, had invited our attention to the decision of the Delhi High Court in Avinash Gupta v. Union of India in Writ Petition (C.) No. 9032 of 2015 rendered on September 21, 2015 [2015] 378 ITR 137 (Delhi), where the court refused to extend the time for e-filing of return of income in exercise of its extraordinary jurisdiction under article 226 of the Constitution of India. To a similar effect is the .....

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ion of either challenging the orders passed by the Punjab and Haryana High Court before the apex court or accepting the same and applied all over India. Today, as pointed out hereinabove, the Central Board of Direct Taxes has issued two separate orders under section 119 of the Act, accepting the order of the Punjab and Haryana High Court and the Gujarat High Court and extended the time to file up to October 31, 2015, only in respect of assessees in the above two States and in the Union Territory .....

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The grievances raised in this petition are more or less similar to the one raised before the Gujarat High Court and the Punjab and Haryana High Court. It is that the Central Board of Direct Taxes/Central Government had failed in its obligation to notify ITR Forms, in particular, Forms Nos. 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 on April 1, 2015, all of which have the due date of being filed with the Income-tax Department before September 30, 2015. 11. It is excepted of the State that it would notify the required ITR .....

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15. 12. In view of the delay in having notified the ITR Forms Nos. 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7, various assessees had in individual capacity made representations that the time to file e-returns in Forms Nos. 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 be extended in view of prejudice as pointed out above. The petitioners had also filed a representation dated August 25, 2015, inter alia, raising various issues warranting extension of time. However, the Central Board of Direct Taxes by a press note dated September 9, 2015, rejected th .....

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tober 31, 2015. The same was not responded to by the Central Board of Direct Taxes. Thus, this petition. The Revenue has not yet filed any reply. Therefore, we are at this stage not finally disposing of the petition but after admitting it are considering interim relief, if any, to be granted. 14. We have heard the counsel for the petitioner and the Revenue. We find that with effect from the assessment year 2013-14, it is mandatory to e-file return of income. It is not open to an assessee to file .....

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cerned would have had 183 days time available to collect the necessary information so as to enable them to e-file their returns of income, giving all particulars expected of them. However, in view of the delay in notifying the forms, the available time for the assessee to fill up the forms was restricted to 55 to 61 days, depending upon the dates when the forms are notified. Thus, in view of short time available, assessees were finding it difficult to comply with all the requirements sought in t .....

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turn of income. 15. The present situation has arisen only in view of the delay on the part of Central Board of Direct Taxes in discharging its obligations of making available the ITR Forms Nos. 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7 in due time. Thus, the need to extend the due date. One more feature which was emphasised was that in case of ITR Forms 1, 2, 2A and 4S being non-audit cases, necessary forms were notified only on June 22, 2015, instead of April 1, 2015, i.e., a delay of 83 days. The normal date of filin .....

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5, 6 and 7 does not cause any prejudice. The Gujarat High Court noted that the scheme of the Act indicates that ordinarily a period of 180 days is available to the assessee to file Income-tax return in case of e-filing of return of income in Forms Nos. 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7. Any curtailment of this period on account of non-availability of the necessary utility for filing a return online, does certainly cause prejudice to the assessee wholly on account of the delay on the part of the Central Board o .....

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ovided under the Act to e-file return in ITR Forms Nos. 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7. It is submitted that in view of the above, the subsequent decision ought not to have been rendered, taking a view contrary to that taken by the Delhi High Court. In our opinion, Mr. Suresh Kumar is not right in this contention as these orders are relied upon by him would lose their significance in view of the Central Board of Direct Taxes itself accepting the contrary view of the Punjab and Haryana High Court and the Gujar .....

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re with the executive action of not extending the date of September 30, 2015, to e-file the returns. As pointed out above, the view of the Gujarat High Court as also the view of the Punjab and Haryana High Court of extending the due date to October 31, 2015, has been accepted by the Central Board of Direct Taxes as evidenced by having issued an order on September 30, 2015, under section 119 of the Act by extending the time in respect of the assessees in the State of Punjab and Haryana High Court .....

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ven if not entirely wiped out, consequent to the subsequent orders passed today under section 119 of the Act by the Central Board of Direct Taxes. The order dated September 29, 2015, accepted the fact that the due date in the case of non-audited case covered by ITR Forms Nos. 1, 2, 2A and 4S, the due date for e-filing should extend from July 31, 2015, to September 7, 2015. Mr. Suresh Kumar, learned counsel appearing for the Revenue, in the absence of instructions sought to contend that there was .....

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taining the petition, seeking extension of due date did observe in paragraph 22 as under (page 145 of 378 ITR) : "Notwithstanding having held so. I am of the view that there is, some merit, however, if not legal then otherwise, in the grievances of the petitioner. The counsel for the respondents appearing on advance notice is unable to give the reasons for the forms, etc., being not available at the beginning of the assessment year on 1st April of every year and the same thereby causing inc .....

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t assessment year, at least ensure that the forms, etc., which are to be prescribed for the audit report and for filing the ITR are available as on 1st April of the assessment year unless there is a valid reason therefor and which should be recorded in writing by the respondents themselves, without waiting for any representations to be made. The respondents, while doing so, to also take a decision whether owing thereto any extension of the due date is required to be prescribed and accordingly no .....

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