Government of Pakistan, Revenue Division, Federal Board of Revenue issued a notification for information & instructions regarding last date of filing of income tax return for tax year 2020.
The provisions of section 114 of the Income Tax Ordinance, 2001 (I.T.O. 2001) warrant filing of annual tax return on or by September 30 every year implying a period of 90 days to taxpayers to discharge their legal obligation. This year, since new income tax return form was uploaded on IRIS on September 8, 2020, the deadline for filing of the tax return was extended vide Board's Circular No. 4 of 2020/IR Operations, dated 30th September, 2020, till December 8, 2020 - allowing the citizens full statutorily-mandated time of 90 days in one go: piecemeal repeated extensions compromise tax administration's credibility and adversely affect taxpayers' perception for the future.
However, simultaneously provisions of section 119(1) of the I.T.O. 2001 stipulate that person required to furnish a tax return under section 114... may apply, in writing. to the Commissioner for an extension of time to furnish the return."
Thus, while it is important that the date of filing of tax returns for the T/Y 2020. being December 8, 2020, is retained as the final date for the purpose, it is absolutely necessary that Commissioners generously grant extensions in all cases of hardship of any nature. In order to render the entire process of filing for extension and granting of time to taxpayers for filing of tax returns, IRIS is being modified to make it facilitative and less time-consuming.
The Chief Commissioners, both in terms of administrative responsibilities as well as the legal powers vested in them under section 119(4) ibid, are required to be fully vigilant and ensure that no requests for extensions remain unattended in their jurisdiction, please.