COVID-19: Relief measures introduced by Ministry of Finance

As you all are aware that COVID-19 pandemic has severally impacted Indian economy, Governments at both Central and State level have been putting their best efforts to ensure stability in the economy. On 24 March 2020, Ms. Nirmala Sitharaman, Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs of India, during her press meet, introduced various reforms which will give huge relief to the business organizations in India. The said reforms have intended to give relaxation to the business organizations in complying with the laws relating to Tax, Companies Act, 2013 and Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016. This note intends to cover the tax reforms which were introduced during the said press meet. The reforms which were introduced by our honourable minister are stated below.

 

A. RELIEFS UNDER INCOME TAX LAWS:

i. Extension on timelines for filing of IT returns: Filing of income tax returns for FY 2018-19 will be extended from 31 March 2020 to 30 June 2020.

ii. Extension on linking PAN with Aadhar: Linking of PAN with Aadhar has been extended from 31 March 2020 to 30 June 2020.

iii. Waiver on additional amount to paid under Vivad se Vishwas: No additional 10% of the amount needs to be made, if payment made by 30 June 2020 under Vivad se Vishwas scheme.

iv. Extension on due dates on various matters: Due dates for issue of notice, intimation, notification, approval order, sanction order, filing of appeal, furnishing of return, statements, applications, reports, any other documents and time limit for completion of proceedings by the authority and any compliance by the taxpayer including investment in saving instruments or investments for roll over benefit of capital gains under Income Tax Act, Wealth Tax Act, Prohibition of Benami Property Transaction Act, Black Money Act, STT law, CTT Law, Equalization Levy law, Vivad Se Vishwas law where the time limit is expiring between 20 March 2020 to 29 June 2020 shall be extended to 30 June 2020.

v. Reduction in the interest rates: For delayed payments of advanced tax, self-assessment tax, regular tax, TDS, TCS, equalization levy, STT, CTT made between 20 March 2020 and 30 June 2020, reduced interest rate at 9% instead of 12 %/18 % per annum ( i.e. 0.75% per month instead of 1/1.5 percent per month) will be charged for this period. No late fee/penalty shall be charged for delay relating to this period.

 

B. RELIEFS UNDER GST LAWS

i. Extension in filing of form GSTR-3B: Last date for filing GSTR-3B in March, April and May 2020 will be extended till the last week of 30 June 2020 for those having aggregate annual turnover less than Rs. 5 Crore. No interest, late fee, and penalty to be charged.

ii. Reduction in the interest rates: For any delayed payment made between 20th March 2020 and 30 June 2020 reduced rate of interest @9 % per annum (current interest rate is 18 % per annum) will be charged. No late fee and penalty to be charged, if complied before till 30 June 2020.

iii. Extension on timeline for opting for composition scheme: Date for opting for composition scheme is extended till the last week of June 2020. Further, the last date for making payments for the quarter ending 31 March 2020 and filing of return for 2019-20 by the composition dealers will be extended till the last week of June 2020.

iv. Extension on timeline for filing GST returns: Date for filing GST annual returns of FY 18-19, which is due on 31 March 2020 is extended till the last week of June 2020.

v. Extension on timelines for various other matters: Due date for issue of notice, notification, approval order, sanction order, filing of appeal, furnishing of return, statements, applications, reports, any other documents, time limit for any compliance under the GST laws where the time limit is expiring between 20 March 2020 to 29 June 2020 shall be extended to 30 June 2020.

vi. Extension on timelines for payment due under Sabka Vishwas Scheme: Payment date under Sabka Vishwas Scheme shall be extended to 30 June 2020. No interest for this period shall be charged if paid by 30 June 2020.

 

C. RELIEF UNDER CUSTOM ACT, 1962

i. Availability of Custom Clearance: Custom clearance shall be made available on 24*7 basis till end of 30 June 2020.

ii. Extension on timelines for various other matters: Due date for issue of notice, notification, approval order, sanction order, filing of appeal, furnishing applications, reports, any other documents etc., time limit for any compliance under the Customs Act and other allied Laws where the time limit is expiring between 20 March 2020 to 29 June 2020 shall be extended to 30 June 2020.

 

Note: Necessary legal circulars and legislative amendments for giving effect to the aforesaid relief have not been released yet. We shall update you with the circulars and legislatives once the same have been issued. The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter and is not intended to be a legal opinion. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances Should you have any questions or queries in relation to the legal developments in these VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, and Ambiguous) times, please drop us an email at relationships@novojuris.com.

 

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