Various relaxations announced by the Finance Minister amidst Covid-19

  • In the press conference held on March 24, 2020, the Hon’ble Finance Minister announced various relaxations considering the outbreak of Covid-19 and lockdown in the country. Further, in the Press Note dated March 24, 2020, issued by Ministry of Finance, Government of India, following are the key highlights:

 Income Tax

  • Last date for filing of income tax returns for FY 18-19 is extended from March 31, 2020 to June 30, 2020.
  • For delayed payments of advance tax, self-assessment tax, regular tax, TDS, TCS,  equalization levy, STT, CTT made between March 20, 2020 and June 30, 2020, reduced interest rate at 9% instead of 12%/18% per annum will be charged for this period. No late fee/penalty shall be charged for delay relating to this period.
  • No extension, but on delayed deposit of TDS only reduced interest will be charged at 9% instead of 18%, till June 30, 2020.
  • Vivad se Vishwas scheme extended till June 30,2020 and no 10% additional charge to be paid upto  June 30,2020. Earlier upto March 31, 2020 there was no additional charge and from April 1 till June 30, an additional charge at 10% was to be paid.
  • Adhaar-PAN linking date is extended from March 31, 2020 to June 30, 2020.
  • 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 March 20, 2020 to June 29, 2020 shall be extended to June 30, 2020

Goods & Services Tax:

  • GST returns for March, April and May, 2020 and composition returns have been extended to June 30, 2020 (staggering method will be followed, which will depend on different regions).
  • Companies with turnover Rs. 5 Crores or below – no interest, no late fee or no penalty will be charged
  • Turnover higher than Rs 5 Crores – only reduced interest @ 9%, but there will be no late fees, no penalties.
  • Date for opting for composition scheme is extended to June 30,2020.

Central Excise and Custom:

  • Custom clearance till end of 30th June,2020 will operate 24 x 7.

Corporate related compliances:

  • In respect of MCA 21 registry, there is a moratorium issued from April 1, 2020 till September 30, 2020.
  • There shall be no additional fee for late filing.
  • Mandatory requirement of holding board meeting within prescribed interval to be extended by a period of 60 days till next two quarters.
  • Applicability of the Companies Order 2020 shall be made applicable for FY 2020-21 instead of FY-2019-20. Applicability of companies auditors report order for the FY 2019-20 will now come into force from 2020-21.
  • For FY 2019-20, if independent directors have not held even one meeting, shall not be construed as violation.
  • Newly incorporated companies required to file a declaration for commencement of business within 6 months of incorporation get additional 6 months
  • Non- compliance of minimum residency by a director of company, who has to stay in India for 182 days or more as per section 149 of the Companies Act, 2013, will not be treated as violation.
  • Requirement to create a Deposit Reserve of 20% of deposits maturing during FY 2020-21, before April 30, 2020, to be now complied with before June 30, 2020.
  • Requirement to invest 15% of debentures maturing during specified year before April 30, is shifted to June 30.

Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016

  • Threshold limit for referring a default case for insolvency is enhanced from 1 Lakh to 1Crore. This step is taken to support MSMEs.
  • In case the situation of Covid-19 continues beyond April 30, 2020, then section 7, 9 and 10 of IBC, 2016 would be suspended for six months. This will be decided by April 30, 2020.

Fisheries

  • Sanitary Import Permits which were to be expired between March 1, 2020 and April 15, 2020, shall be extended for 3 more months.
  • Delay upto one month in arrival of consignment shall be condoned.
  • Rebooking of quarantine cubicles of cancelled consignment in Aquatic Quarantine Facility in Chennai without additional booking charges shall be allowed.
  • Verification of documents and grant of NOCs  for quarantine shall be relaxed from 7 days to 3 days.

Financial Services:

  • Debit card holders can withdraw from any other banks ATM free till June, 2020.
  • Reduced Bank Charges for digital trade transactions for trade finance customers.
  • No minimum balance requirement.

Commerce:

  • Extension of timeline from procedural and eligibility point of view.
  • There will not be extension or modification of scheme guidelines.