Date extension syndrome
Of late from past few years it is observed that time for filing of returns is extended on one pretext or other. It has become a routine that has spoilt the habit of tax consultants and taxpayers alike.
We Indians are normally in habit of doing the work at last moment only. It is seen that as soon as the time was extended, the taxpayer’s line for filing the returns vanished and we also became relaxed.
The question that comes to my mind is how long this practice will continue and how to get out of this syndrome of extension of time for filing the return.
The main reason for extension of time earlier was that revised forms of returns are released late by the CBDT which delayed the required changes in the software causing heavy pressure of work on tax consultants and consequential collapse of the system that necessitated extension of time.
However now it is observed that the format for audit report is changed and heavy burden has come on the chartered accountants to ensure the compliance of several laws in the audit report and proper reporting for the same.
Needless to mention that if reporting is not properly done after due verification then the career of the chartered accountants is at stake resulting into disciplinary action.
The taxpayers particularly in mofussil areas are not alive to this situation and do not hand over their accounts for audit well in time thereby it becomes impossible to make proper verification, the chances of mistakes are multiplie.
More or less similar problem has to be faced by the advocates and T.P.S that at the end of limitation, slips and occurrence of risk of mistake becomes very high.
The changes made in the Income-tax Act those are applicable from 1-4-2017 i.e., for assessment year 2017-18 and onwards, particularly new penalty provisions u/s. 270A. It has made sea change in the concept of penalty for concealment to under reporting of income. The old concepts have been given a complete go-by and new analogy has been provided where there is no question of mens rea or criminal mind.
The above change has brought out the importance of proper computation of income and filing of return depicting correct income putting a heavy and onerous burden on tax consultants to ensure correct reporting of income.
Friends we have to ensure the proper compliance of law and there is need to educate our clients with the latest changes in law and procedure. We are compelled to seek extension of time for filing the returns because our clients are not ready with the required data in time.
We need to change the culture of working, no doubt it will take time but a beginning has to be made by our fraternity. To begin with send messages to the clients that charges will be higher if they approach you in fag end of the limitation, we may devise such other means also to motivate the clients to come in time for their work. It will help our members to save them from midnight working and spending quality time with the family.
With best wishes
Ganesh N. Purohit