India Extends E-Filing Deadline After Blackout
Friday, August 3, 2012
India's Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has temporarily relaxed its e-filing
requirements after problems emerged with its own software and a nationwide power
failure left over 600m people without electricity.
Tax returns must be filed electronically for income tax years subsequent to
and including 2012-13 where an individual or Hindu undivided family's total
income or total assessable income during the previous year exceeds INR1m (USD18,000).
However, the CBDT says that it has been brought to its attention that the agents
of non-residents are experiencing difficulties with e-filing. A non-resident
may employ more than one agent for different transactions, and a person in India
may act as an agent of more than one non-resident. Existing e-filing software
does not cover such situations, as it functions on the principle of one assessee, one
permanent account number (PAN), one return.
Private discretionary trusts are also facing problems, the CBDT admits. Those
with a total income exceeding INR1m are struggling with e-filing in cases where
they are filing their return in the status of an individual. In Indian law,
private discretionary trusts have the status of an "individual". Unfortunately,
the e-filing software does not accept the return of a private discretionary
trust under this status.
The Board has now decided that it will no longer be mandatory for agents of
non-residents with total income exceeding INR1m to complete e-returns for the
2012-13 assessment year. Similarly, the e-filing requirement for those private
discretionary trusts affected has also been dropped.
The government has also been forced to push back the deadline for the e-filing
of millions of individual tax returns after a massive power failure cut off
supplies for nearly two days. The deadline for 2012-13 will now be August 31,
2012, a month later than originally planned.