24 Mar 2020
Top Relief Steps Announced By Finance Minister Amid Coronavirus Outbreak

    Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday announced a slew of relief measures for taxpayers and businesses as the country entered a second day of lockdown to curb the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Announcing a relaxation in the due dates for filing of certain income tax as well as Goods and Services Tax (GST) returns, Nirmala Sitharaman said the government is already working on a fiscal package to shield the economy against the rapidly-spreading pandemic.

    Here are big announcements for taxpayers and businesses:

      Income Tax

    1. For taxpayers, the government extended the due date for filing tax returns towards income earned in financial year 2018-19 (A.Y. 2019-20) to 30th June 2020.

    2. Interest rate applicable on delayed income tax returns (ITRs) reduced to 9% from the existing 12%.

    3. Extending tax dispute resolution scheme "Vivad Se Vishwas" by three months to 30th June, FM Sitharaman said those availing the scheme will not be required to pay 10% interest on principal as mandated under existing rules.

    4. Due date for mandatory linking of Aadhaar with PAN extended to 30th June 2020. Additional 10% charge will not be levied till June 30.

    5. Any due dates regarding issue of notice/intimation/approval/sanction order/applications/ reports/ filing of appeal/any compliance by taxpayers/ benefit of capital gains/ Benami Law which was getting over by 20th March has been extended to 30th June 2020.

      Goods & Service Tax (GST)

    1. Last date for filing returns for March, April & May 2020 and composition returns extended to 30th June 2020.

    2. Also, companies with a turnover of less than Rs 5 crore will not have to pay interest, penalty or late fee for filing delayed returns.

    3. Date for opting for composition scheme extended to 30th June 2020.

      Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA)

    1. In respect of MCA Registry 2020, a moratorium applicable from 1st April to 30th Sept 2020. Moreover, no additional fees will be levied for late filing.

    2. CARO: Applicability of companies order 2020 shall be made applicable from FY 2020-21 instead of FY 2019-20.

    3. Announcing a relaxation for companies to hold board meetings for next two quarters, Ms Sitharaman said: "If no board meeting is held for 2019-20, it will not be considered a violation."

    4. For Newly Incorporated Companies additional time of 6 more months allowed for Requirement to file declaration of commencement within 6 months of business.

    5. A company director who doesn’t comply with the requirement of minimum residency in India (has not stayed in India for 182 days or more) - it shall not be treated as a violation under Companies Act.

    6. For Debentures: minimum requirement of 15% investment extended to 30.06.2020.

      Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC)

    1. The Finance Minister announced an increase in the threshold for default under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) to Rs 1 crore. Currently, the threshold of triggering insolvency cases stands at Rs 1 lakh.

    2. Also, In case the situation doesn’t improve till 30.04.2020, then the Finance Minister may consider suspending Sec 7, 9 and 10 of IBC for 6 months.

      Customs and Central Excise

    1. Customs clearance till 30.06.2020 will operate 24/7 during COVID-19.

    2. Sabka Vishwas scheme further extended to 30.06.2020 from 31.03.2020. People who pay during the extended period will not have to pay any interest.


    1. In a major relief for the public, as only essential services remain open in many parts of the country to contain the spread of coronavirus, the Finance Minister announced free-of-charge withdrawals from ATMs of any bank for next three months.

    2. The government also waived the requirement of maintaining certain minimum balance in bank accounts. Currently, customers have to maintain certain minimum balance in their accounts or pay a penalty charge to the banks concerned.

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