Unable to handle the load generated after it made online filing of returns mandatory for those earning over Rs. 5 lakh per annum has forced the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) to extend the last date of filing tax returns to August 5.
Until last year, it was compulsory for only those earning above Rs10 lakh to file e-returns.
According to I-T officials, over 50 lakh people from across the country tried to file returns though the agency website on the last day on Wednesday, with many failing to upload their documents.
Every year, July 31 is the last date for filing returns for the salaried class, non-audit companies and non-corporates.
For others, including corporates, it is September 30.
However, taxpayers were finding it difficult to access the site and upload returns since Monday, and the problem aggravated on Wednesday.
“There has been severe load because of the addition of the new category in the compulsory group, for which the department seemed to be unprepared,” said an I-T official requesting anonymity. He said the department makes policies, but do not brace itself up by updating the system to handle heavy rush.
According to a statement issued by the CBDT, this year around 92.03 lakh returns were filed online until Tuesday, which is 46.8% more than last year.
IT officials said there are around 2.86 crore registered users of the online system.
Of them, around 60% to 70% were supposed to file returns by the July 31 deadline, sources said.
The CBDT statement further said: “Due to large number of taxpayers accessing e-filing website on the due date, some cases of taxpayers not being able to access the portal have been reported. These problems are primarily due to network constraints of the local internet service providers.”
“However, as a measure of taxpayers’ convenience, it has been decided to extend the due date of filing of returns from July 31 to August 5,” the statement added.