Is Tax Audit & ITR filing last date is 31st December or 31st January? Know correct due dates
There are various kinds of audits being conducted under different laws such as company audit, statutory audit conducted under company law provisions, cost audit, stock audit etc. Similarly, income tax law also mandates an audit called ‘Tax Audit’. Section 44AB of the Income-tax Act, 1961 contains the provisions for the tax audit of an entity.
As per these provisions, tax audit shall be conducted by a Chartered Accountant who ensures that the taxpayers have maintained proper books of account and complied with the provisions of the Income-tax Act. Tax Audit conducted by a Chartered Accountant is reported to the Income-tax department in Form no. 3CA/3CB and Form no. 3CD along with the income tax return.
What is Tax Audit under section 44AB?
- Tax Audit refers to the independent verification of the books of accounts of the assessee to form an opinion on the matters related to taxation compliances carried out by the assessee.
- While preparing the books of accounts of the business or profession for the purpose of income tax filing, the assessee has to comply with the provisions of Income-tax Act, 1961.
- Tax audit can be conducted by a Chartered Accountant who holds the certificate of practice and is in full-time practice.
- However certain classes have been defined who cannot conduct tax audit under section 44AB.
- The tax auditor (CA) carries out a systematical examination of books of account as per the formats prescribed by the department.
What is the due date of filing tax audit reports under Income Tax?
- One must file the tax audit report on or before the due date of filing the return of income.
- It is 30 November of the subsequent year in case the taxpayer has entered into an international transaction and 30 September of the subsequent year for other taxpayers.
Extension of Due Dates due to COVID 19 for FY 2019-20 AY 2020-21
The economic impact of the 2020 coronavirus pandemic in India has been largely disruptive. The lockdown though necessary has led to a disastrous impact on the economy. With an ever-increasing corona virus cases, lockdown was considered as an only solution to flatten the curve. However, the measures which were implemented to avoid a human disaster, have in turn led to the birth of several issues such as unemployment, recession, hindrance to economic growth, financial instability and so on.
The Government of India announced a variety of measures to tackle the situation, from food security and extra funds for healthcare and for the states, to sector related incentives and tax deadline extensions. With the ongoing COVID -19 pandemic a lot of income tax due dates were extended. One of these extension benefits were also provided to the due date of filing tax audit report.
Due Dates for FY 2018-19 were:
|Category of Taxpayer||Due Date|
|Individual||30th September, 2019|
|Body of Individuals (BOI)||30th September, 2019|
|Hindu Undivided Family (HUF)||30th September, 2019|
|Association of Persons (AOP)||30th September, 2019|
|Businesses (Requiring Audit)||31st October, 2019|
|Businesses (Requiring TP Report)||30th November, 2019|
Extended Tax Audit Due Date for FY 2019-20
- The due date for furnishing of ITR for the taxpayers (including their partners) who are required to get their accounts audited is extended to 31st January, 2021.
- The due date for furnishing of ITR for the taxpayers who are required to furnish report in respect of international/specified domestic transactions is extended to 31st January, 2021.
- The due date for furnishing of ITR for the other taxpayers is extended to 31st December, 2020.
- The date for furnishing of various audit reports including tax audit report and report in respect of international/specified domestic transaction is extended to 31st December, 2020.
In summary ITR filing Due Dates are:
|Category of Taxpayer||Due Date|
|Individual||31st December, 2020|
|Body of Individuals (BOI)||31st December, 2020|
|Hindu Undivided Family (HUF)||31st December, 2020|
|Association of Persons (AOP)||31st December, 2020|
|Businesses (Requiring Audit)||31st January, 2020|
|Businesses (Requiring TP Report)||31st January, 2020|
It is important to file the tax audit report before the due date. If any taxpayer who is required to get the tax audit done but fails to do so, the least of the following may be levied as a penalty:
- 0.5% of the total sales, turnover or gross receipts
- Rs 1,50,000
However, as the current COVID-19 issues are not resolved completely, there is a possibility that the due date may still be extended.