New Delhi: In a major relief to taxpayers, the income tax return (ITR) filing deadline for FY 2019-20 has been extended to December 31, 2020, for most individual taxpayers, from the earlier deadline of November 30, 2020. This the second time the tax filing deadline for FY20 has been extended.

"The due date for furnishing of Income Tax Returns for the taxpayers [for whom the due date (i.e. before the extension by the said notification) as per the Act was July 31, 2020] has been extended to December 31, 2020," CBDT said in a statement.

"In view of the challenges faced by taxpayers in meeting the statutory and regulatory compliances due to the outbreak of COVID-19," the CBDT had earlier provided the taxpayers time till November 30 to file the returns.

It may be noted that the government had in May extended the date for filing ITR for FY2019-20 from July 31 to November 30, to give compliance relief to taxpayers.

"Tax professionals were concerned about an extension coming in too late, this will be a big relief to them. Taxpayers now have more time to e-file, however those who need a refund must file immediately so that their ITR can be processed quickly," said Archit Gupta, founder and CEO, Cleartax. "If anyone has any taxes due they must pay their dues soon to avoid penal interest; which remains applicable," Gupta added.

For those taxpayers whose accounts need to be audited, the ITR filing deadline has been extended by two months till 31 January, 2021.