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Bishops unhappy about Easter Sunday tax deadline

Tax offices due to stay open over Easter weekend

  • Ritu Sharma, New Delhi
  • India
  • March 21, 2013
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India’s Catholic bishops have demanded that the government observes Sunday March 31 as the Easter holiday.

The federal government earlier this week directed income tax department offices to open over both days of the Easter weekend, as March 31 is the deadline for tax returns for the past financial year to be filed.

Returns filed after the closing date may attract a penalty.

Archbishop Albert D’Souza, secretary general of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference, said the bishops expect the government to "do whatever possible to avoid hurting the religious sentiments of the community in India.”

He described Easter as "the most important and the central feast of the Christian religion" and added that income tax department may have "a specific reason to declare a working day on Easter, but the Christian community in India has more specific reason to request the government to defer the last day of filing the returns."

Federal governments in the past have rescheduled government examinations that fell on Good Friday and Easter Sunday. “We hope that the same propriety will be shown in this case also,” Archbishop D’Souza said.

Talking to ucanews.com, deputy secretary general Father Joseph Chinnayan pointed out that there is still more than a week left until Easter. “We should wait for the government’s response and not rush to a conclusion,” he said.

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