Gujarat High Court asks Government to Fix Technical Glitches in Income Tax Portal, Denies Extension of Due Date for Filing Audit Report

The Gujarat High Court in the case of Chartered Accountants Association, Surat v/s Union of India asked the government to fix technical glitches in the income tax portal and denied the extension of the due date for filing the audit report.  

Advocate R.Avinash Poddar and Advocate Mr. Nikul Singhvi appearing for the applicants pointed out that for the purpose of uploading the audit report, the assessee has to generate the Unique Document Identification Number. This has been made mandatory for all audits. On account of technical glitches in the Portal, the Chartered Accountants are finding it very difficult to upload the audit report. In other words, even after generating the UDIN on account of some technical problems in the Portal, the audit reports are not being uploaded. Once the audit report is not uploaded and the return is not filed in time, some would entail interest under Sections 234A and 234B respectively, late fees under Section 234F and penalty under Section 271B of the Act respectively. 

Mr. Poddar requested that the deadline of January 15, 2022 for the purpose of filing the audit report may be extended to February 15, 2022.

The division bench of Justice J.B.Pardiwala and Justice Nisha M.Thakore while declining to go into this controversy at this point of time said that the issues of penalty, interest etc. would arise when the final order of assessment is passed. Even for the purpose of penalty under Section 271B, it is necessary to issue a notice to the assessee. If the assessee has not been in a position to file his return in time on account of his inability to upload the audit report on account of technical glitches in the Portal, he can always point out all such circumstances beyond his control when he is called upon to show cause as to why penalty should not be imposed.

The court while listing the matter on February 8, 2022 remarked, “we once again impress upon the respondent to attend to the technical glitches, which are being experienced in the Portal at the earliest. The Portal is something which is within the control of the respondent and if there are any technical problems in the same, it is only the respondents, who can take care of such problems.”

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