In a big move on Tuesday, the Ministry of Finance brought in the 'Taxation and other Laws (Relaxation of Certain Provisions) Ordinance, 2020' to give effect to the relief measures pertaining to statutory and regulatory compliance announced on March 24. This provides for the extension of time limits under the Taxation and Benami Acts. For instance, the date of filing Income Tax returns, Aadhar-PAN linking and the 'Vivad se Vishwas' scheme has been extended until June 30, 2020.
Moreover, the ordinance has amended the Income Tax Act to ensure that the same tax treatment is provided to PM CARES as available to the Prime Minister National Relief Fund. This implies that the donation made to PM CARES fund will be eligible for a 100% deduction under the Income Tax Act. Additionally, the limit on the deduction of 10% of gross income shall not be applicable for donation made to PM CARES fund.
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Furthermore, some amendments deal specifically with indirect taxes. The last date of furnishing Central Excise returns, filing of appeal or refund applications and availing benefit under the Sabka Vishwas scheme has been extended till June 30, 2020. Also, an enabling section has been inserted in the CGST Act, 2017, via which the Centre can extend due dates for various compliances including statement of outward supplies, filing appeals etc. On the recommendation of the GST Council.
Read details about the ordinance here:
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These were some of the key announcements by the government on March 24:
- The last date for filing March, April, and May 2020 returns and also composition returns was extended to June 30, 2020.
- The delayed payment interest rate has been reduced from 12% to 9%.
- Aadhar-PAN linking date extended to June 30, 2020.
- Vivad se Vishwas scheme extended until June 30, 2020. No 10 percent additional charge will be incurred on this scheme till June 30, 2020.
- Sabka Vishwas indirect tax dispute redressal scheme extended to June 30, 2020.
- No interest, late fee, penalty to be charged for companies that have less than Rs.5 crore turnover.
- Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code default limit has been increased from Rs.1 lakh to Rs.1 crore
- The Companies Auditors’ Report Order 2020, which was going to come into force in 2019-20, has been shifted to 2020-21.
- Possibility of suspending Section 7, 9 and 10 of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code at a later stage if the current situation continues beyond six months.
- A delay of one month will be condoned in the arrival of the consignment of fisheries. Import permits for fisheries expiring in April have been extended by three months.
- Debit cardholders can withdraw cash from any bank’s ATM free of charge for the next three months. Moreover, there will be no minimum balance requirement.
- Customs clearance has been designated as an essential service so that importers and exporters are not impacted.
- The mandatory requirement of holding board meetings has been relaxed by a period of 60 days. If Independent directors have not been able to hold even one meeting, it will not be seen as a violation.
- Bank charges for digital trade and transactions will be reduced.
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