The CBDT (Central Board of Direct Taxes) will be notifying revised income tax return (ITR) forms for the financial year 2019-20 by the end of April to enable taxpayers to claim benefits of extension of timelines announced on various investments in the light of COVID-19 situation.
"In order to enable income taxpayers to avail full benefits of various timeline extensions granted by the Government of India due to Covid-19 pandemic situations, the CBDT is revising the return forms for FY 2019-20 (Assessment Year 2020-21) which shall be notified by the end of this month," the Ministry of Finance said in a statement on Sunday.
With the revised forms, payments and transactions towards various schemes and investments made between 1 April to 30 June will be eligible to tax claims for the financial year ended 30 March 2020.
Note that the financial year has not been extended, the government has only provided extra time to investors facing cash crunch to be able to claim tax benefits under Section 80C, 80D and 80G on like payments made towards LIC policies, PPF, NSC, other small savings schemes, health insurance and donations made till 30 June for the previous financial year.
Once the revised forms are notified, consequential changes in the software of the income tax website's ITR filing utility will have to be made.
"Hence, the return filing utility after incorporating necessary changes shall be made available by May 31, 2020, to avail benefits for FY 2019-20," it added.
Generally, the ITR forms are notified in the first week of April.
It is likely that the deadline to file income tax returns may also be extended beyond the usual 31 July date but no such announcement has yet been made by the government.