Coronavirus disease, is a new infectious disease caused by a virus has spread globally today. Health care systems & Organizations worldwide are taking different measures to fight it as there is no vaccine available yet. Best way to fight it is by avoiding public gatherings, contacts & travelling.
Government has, as a precautionary measure to contain coronavirus spread in India, ordered a nationwide lockdown to keep India from sliding into a disaster similar to countries like China, Italy & US. To follow the same most of the public places have been shut down, including Malls, Tourist places and Offices.
Most of the employees whose work can be managed from home are working from home Only, but this is not possible in all sectors, So there is a slowdown in productions for some businesses while others business are closed & many employees are sitting idle. Though, this is a best measure to prevent this infection from spreading. But this lockdown is having a negative impacts as its affecting the business owners, job holders badly. With no or decreased livelihood, everyone will be facing big challenges in coming weeks.
Since the lockdown has been put in place and is the best means to curb this pandemic, Finance Minister Nirmila Sitharaman has taken few steps to diminish the effects of lockdown on Economy. Finance Minister has announced a slew of measures for extension of statutory & regulatory compliances to ease the burden of its citizen so as to make sure no one is left behind in this fight.
Measures include easing tax & return filing deadlines, Reduction in Interest Charges on delayed tax payments, relief packages, reduction in Bank Charges & much more. Compliances under Income Tax Act, Wealth Tax Act, Benami Transaction Act, Vaad Se Vishwaas have been extended to June 30 2020.
Here are some of the key announcements made to deal with the impact of this pandemic on the economy:
Extension in Return Filing Date
For Assessment year 2019-20 pertaining to Financial Year 2018-19, due date of filing return has been extended to June 30,2020.
Reduction in Interest Charges
For delayed tax payments made till extended return filing date that is June 30,2020, Interest will be charged at 9% instead of 12%. Further, Interest chargeable on delay in deposit of TDS is also reduced from 18% to 9% for this purpose for the period starting March 20th to June 30, 2020
Deadline for PAN & AADHAR Linking
Linking of Aadhar and Pan which was supposed to be done latest by March 31 has now been extended by June 30. As per the current laws, not linking of the two will lead to make the Pan as inoperative.
Extension in deadline for Tax Saving Investment for FY 2019-2020
Relief has also been provided for completing Tax Saving related investments. Individual Taxpayers can now complete tax saving investments by June 30, 2020 instead of the Present deadline of March 31,2020. If investments in tax saving instruments to claim tax relief have been missed by any tax payer individual, now they can relax as the date has been extended and you have enough time to do the same now. Though financial service sector is open and operating but with minimum staff & for essential services only but one can always go for digital option.
Extension in deadline for settling Tax Disputes
Deadline for settling tax related disputes under Vaad se Vishwas Scheme has been extended from March 31, 2020 to June 30, 2020. Disputes can be settled now till this new deadline without paying any Penalty or interests. Earlier there was a penalty of 10% of disputed tax amount, in case dispute is settled after March 31. It’s a relief for those individuals who want to settle their disputes without paying additional 10 Percent Penalty & interest.
Reliefs in GST Return Compliances
- Now Due date for GST returns for the month of March to May and Composition Scheme Returns have also been extended to June 30, 2020
- Last date for filing of GST Returns for FY 19-19 has also been extended till last week of June 2020
- There will be no late Fee & Penalty for the companies having turnover of less than 5 Crore, for others there will be a lower rate of Interest of 9%
Relief in Corporate Compliances
- Moratorium has been issued from April 1 till Sept 30 regarding no additional fees for late filing in respect of MCA 21 Registry.
- An extension of 60 days for next two quarters has been granted for holding Board Meetings.
- Additional period of 6 month has been granted for declaration of commencement of business tonewly incorporated companies
- Applicability of Companies Auditors’ Report order 2020 has been extended to 2020-20.
- No violation in case Independent Director is unable to hold single meeting in FY 2019-20.
- If Directors are not able to comply with residency requirement of 182 days in 2019-20, they will not be held in violation.
India is working on the measures to combat the impact on economic conditions of this citizens.Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Scheme of 1.7 Lakh crore & direct cash benefits to help poor & Daily workers struggling for livelihood during this Lockdown has been announced. Main purpose of this scheme is to support weaker section of the society. Under this scheme, Up to 80 Crore People to get additional 5 Kg Rice/Whear above their existing Ration limit. Free gas cylinder will be provided to those BPL families for 3 months.
There are several relief options offered by banks also during this earning crunch. One of this is waiver of charges for withdrawals from any ATM’s till June 2020. Also there will be no penalty in case minimum balance is not maintained in your bank accounts during this period. This requirement of holding a minimum balance in your bank account was already waived by State Bank of India recently. RBI has allowed banks to offer three months moratorium on all loans. This decision will not only permit bank to keep their books healthy but borrowers will get relief from turning into defaulters during this period of financial hardship.