due date for the electronic filing of income and fringe
benefits tax (FBT) returns has been postponed from 31
October to 30 November. The government notified the extension
in the filing date through a circular issue today by the
Central Board of Direct Taxes.
and professionals had complained of problems in the software
as well as lack of familiarity with electronic filing.
One CA complained that after the entire process of filling
in the details had been completed and the information
was marked "submit", an "error" message
flashed back on the users'' screens, asking for the entire
information to be re entered.
a large number of CAs had complained that they were unable
to comply with the deadline.
the official reason ascribed by the CBDT circular to the
extension was the inability of CAs to comply due to the
"many holidays in October as a result of which some
of them faced certain difficulties in adapting to the
new format and the new procedure for filing e-returns".
Interestingly, the circular accepts "several suggestions
for improving the software have also been received and
many of them have been accepted and integrated in the
finance ministry had mandated compulsory electronic filing
of corporate IT and FBT earlier this year. The logic behind
electronic filing of returns was to speed up the entire
filing process and also simplify scrutiny by the IT department.
new IT return forms were designed to make them compatible
for electronic filing. These forms are not required to
be accompanied by attachments or annexure.
the corporate sector was best organised in terms of availability
of information systems infrastructure, it was decided
to make it compulsory for corporate taxpayers to furnish
their returns electronically.
to the IT department, this would also help in the computerisation
of the income tax department. It says electronic information
systems would also streamline and speed up work to ensure
faster refunds, give on-line access to taxpayers and facilitate
to the circular, about 19,000 companies had already filed
their returns electronically by 24 October 2006. These
include Hero Honda Motors Ltd., Housing Development Finance
Ltd., Tata Consultancy Services Ltd., Balmer Lawrie &
Co. Ltd., Morgan Stanley Investment Management Pvt. Ltd.
and Haldiram Marketing Pvt. Ltd, among others.