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:
- 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.
- Interest rate applicable on delayed income tax returns (ITRs) reduced to 9% from the existing 12%.
- 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.
- Due date for mandatory linking of Aadhaar with PAN extended to 30th June 2020. Additional 10% charge will not be levied till June 30.
- 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)
- Last date for filing returns for March, April & May 2020 and composition returns extended to 30th June 2020.
- 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.
- Date for opting for composition scheme extended to 30th June 2020.
Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA)
- 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.
- CARO: Applicability of companies order 2020 shall be made applicable from FY 2020-21 instead of FY 2019-20.
- 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."
- For Newly Incorporated Companies additional time of 6 more months allowed for Requirement to file declaration of commencement within 6 months of business.
- 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.
- For Debentures: minimum requirement of 15% investment extended to 30.06.2020.
Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC)
- 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.
- 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
- Customs clearance till 30.06.2020 will operate 24/7 during COVID-19.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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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