Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman today announced various statutory and regulatory compliance relief measures amid a complete shutdown almost all over the country to control the spread of the highly contagious coronavirus or Covid-19 infection. The last date for filing belated income tax return (ITR) for the FY 2018-19 has been extended from March 31 to June 30, 2020.

The deadline for filing returns of goods and services tax (GST) for March, April and May this year has also been extended till June 30. The government has also extended the last date for linking PAN card with Aadhaar from March 31 to June 30.

Bank account holders do not need to worry about maintaining a minimum monthly balance as non-maintenance charges will be waived off for three months. ATM withdrawals from any bank ATMs will also be free for debit card holders for the next 3 months.

The finance ministry is already working an economic package to mitigate the impact of coronavirus on the Indian economy. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has also announced setting up of a task force, to be headed by Sitharaman, to look at measures to limit economic hardship caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Announcements by Nirmala Sitharaman:

-MS Mani, Partner, Deloitte India, said the extension of GST return filing timelines together with the deferment of e-invoicing and new returns announced earlier would allow businesses to focus on resumption of business processes once normalcy resumes in future. “The waiver of interest, late fees and penalties for SME’s would enable them to focus on reviving their businesses once things are back to normal. The extension of the Sabka Vishwas scheme to 30th June, with zero interest would be beneficial to those businesses who have past liabilities which have significant accumulated interest liabilities,” he said.

Archit Gupta, Founder and CEO, ClearTax, said various filing extensions and relief in compliance is essential for businesses to tide over these difficult circumstances. “Businesses must also use this time to explore ways to become more and more tech focussed. They must now move compliance completely digitally, use cloud based services, and build strong controls and systems so teams can work digitally and remotely. The situation may not improve in the near future. Hopefully, the economic package in the works will help businesses recoup from fall in revenues, which is very much likely in the coming quarter,” Gupta said.

-Minimum balance waiver is for three months at the moment: FM

-We are consciously monitoring the stock market thrice in a day: Sitharaman

-FY 2018-19, the last date for income tax returns will be now extended to June 30: Sitharaman.

-For delayed payments, interest rates have been cut.

-Sitharaman to announce on bank related compliance issues.

-FM to announce relief related to tax return filing.

-We are very close to announcing an economic package: FM

-FM begins press briefing through video conferencing.

-CII has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking a fiscal stimulus of 1 per cent of the GDP amounting to 2 lakh crore to needy citizens through Aadhaar-based direct benefit transfer.

-Industry leaders have sought fiscal and monetary stimulus measures urgently to combat the impact of coronavirus on the economy.

-Several industry bodies have requested the government to extend the last date for filing of income tax and GST returns.

 

News Source: Livemint

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