COVID-19: Highlights of FM Press Meet on 24th March 2020

To relax regulatory and compliance distress among the citizens of India amid the coronavirus outbreak, our FM Nirmala Sitharaman has announced various filing extensions and relief to compliance in the press meet, held on the 24th of March 2020. The businesses have been given assurance of the economic package, which is already being worked upon by the government. 

Here’s a glimpse of announcements made in the different compliance categories: 

  1. Under Goods and Services Tax (GST)
  • Due date extensions – The due dates for GSTR-3B in March 2020, April 2020 and May 2020 are extended up to 30th June 2020 for those with an annual aggregate turnover of up to Rs 5 crore. The due date for filing annual returns is also extended to the last week of June 2020 from 31st March 2020.
  • Late fee and interest exemptions
    • Companies with an annual turnover of up to Rs 5 crore will be exempted from interest, late fee and penalty.
    • Companies with an annual turnover of more than Rs 5 crore are exempted from late fees and penalty if any. However, the interest will be levied at a reduced rate of 9% if paid between 20th March 2020 and 30th June 2020.
  • Filing date of CMP-02 extended: The time for opting composition scheme for the FY 2020-21 has been extended to 30th June 2020.
  • The time limit for any compliance under the GST laws has been extended to 30th June 2020. The previous time limit was between 20th March 2020 and 29th June 2020.
  • Sabka Vishwas Scheme gets extension: The legacy Sabka Vishwas scheme is now extended to 30th June 2020 from 31st March 2020. No interest will be levied if you pay your dues by the 30th June 2020.
  • Relief for a smooth EXIM trade: Customs clearance will operate 24×7 up to 30th June 2020.

Also Read: This Too Shall Pass: Indian Market’s Volatility Amid Coronavirus Nightmare

  1. Under Income Tax
  • Due date extension: The last date to file ITRs for FY 18-19, extended to 30th June 2020 instead of 31st March 2020. For delayed payments of tax made till 30th June 2020, penal interest reduced from 12% to 9%.
  • TDS Compliance: TDS will have to be complied with, no deadline extension. The interest rate on delayed TDS deposit reduced to 9% instead of the earlier 18%. Reduced rate allowed till 30th June 2020. 
  • Aadhaar-PAN linking due date extended to the 30th June 2020. 
  • The Vivad se Vishwas scheme has also been extended to 30th June 2020. No 10% additional charge from now till 30th June 2020 instead of 31st March 2020.
  • Due dates for issue of notice intimation/notification/approval order/sanction order/filing of appeal/applications/reports any other documents, extended to 30th June 2020. 
  • Any compliance by the taxpayers, including investment in tax-savings instruments, capital gains for investment to claim capital gains exemption, compliance with STT law, equalisation levy law compliances, all extended to 30th June 2020. We are awaiting press release and relevant notifications.
  1. Under Corporate Affairs 
  • No additional fees shall be charged for late filing during a moratorium period from 1st  April to 30th September 2020, in respect of any document, return, statement and so on, required to be filed in the MCA-21 Registry, irrespective of its due date. 
  • The mandatory requirement to hold board meetings within a prescribed interval provided in the Companies Act 2013 has been extended by a period of 60 days till the next two quarters, i.e. till 30th September 2020. 
  • CARO 2020 (recently notified) will be applicable from FY 2020-21 instead of FY 2019-20.
  • Even if the independent director has not attended a single meeting in FY 2019-20, it will not be considered as a violation under the Companies Act 2013.
  • The newly incorporated companies get an additional time of six months for filing the forms related to the commencement of business.
  • Non-compliance of minimum residency in India for at least 182 days by at least one director of every company under the Companies Act 2013, shall not be treated as a violation.
  1. For Banking Institutions
  • Debit cardholders can now withdraw cash from any bank ATM for free for the next three months.
  • There shall not be any requirement of minimum balance for three months – complete waiver of MAB fee for the next three months for all the account holders. 
  • Reduction of bank charges for digital trade transactions for all trade, finance and consumers.

All these changes and extensions made to different compliance will not reduce the compliance burden of the citizens, businesses, and corporates at this hour of panic.

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