Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday announced a slew of concessions on mandatory compliances relating to Income Tax, Goods and Services Tax (GST), insolvency and banking code and commerce and extended deadline, including that of filing IT, to June 30 from March 30, 2020, to help consumers and industry cope with the lockdown situation necessitated in the wake of the spread of cornonavirus. There will not be any charge on withdrawal of money from ATMs too.
The Minister said an economic package is being worked out which would be announced soon by the Government to provide immediate assistance to people in the quarantined state.
The eight-point compliance relief package announced by the Minister included waiver of late fee and penalties, reduced interest on delayed tax payments and extension of due dates for various statutory compliance requirements.
Addressing an online Press conference here, Sitharaman along with Minister of State Anurag Thakur said people could use their debit card in any nearest bank without having to pay any banking charges for next three months, no minimum balance would be mandatory for bank accounts and all consumers would pay reduced banking charges for digital transactions.
Interest rates for many delayed payments have been reduced from exiting 12 per cent to only nine per cent.
The Minister said while the compliance relief measures were being announced now, an economic package in the offing. “We are very close to announcing an economic package, which will be announced sooner than later,” she said.
The compliance relief measures cover Income Tax, GST, customs and central excise, compliance and regulations related to Companies Act, Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, fisheries department, banks and commerce.
Sitharaman said the last date for filing Income Tax returns for financial year 2019 was being extended to June 30, 2020. “For delayed payments made till 30 June, interest rate is reduced from 12 per cent to 9 per cent,” the Minister said, adding the measure was limited to FY19.
In the case of delayed deposit of tax deducted at source, interest payable would be halved to 9 per cent from 18 per cent for payments made till 30 June.
The Minister also said the direct tax dispute settlement scheme “Vivad se Vishwas” was being extended till June 30 without the additional 10 per cent charge that was otherwise applicable. “Earlier, up to March 31, there was no additional charge. Everything is now extended to June 30,” she said.
The Minister announced that the companies with less than Rs 5 crore turnover will not have to pay interest, late fee, or penalty, however, for bigger companies, no late fee and penalty will be charged but the interest will be levied at a reduced rate of 9 per cent.
The Minister said the March 20 deadline for various actions like filing of appeals, furnishing of returns, investing in savings instruments or investments for rollover benefit of capital gains tax benefit under various laws administered by the revenue department has been extended to June 30.
For settling disputes in customs and excise taxes no interest will be levied if payment is paid by June 30. Sitharaman said customs and excise will be doing duties 27 x 7 until June 30.
Similar relief in compliances in the fisheries or aquaculture sector was also announced by the Minister.
The Government waved off mandatory board meetings by the companies in the wake of the lockdown. On the volatility in the stock market, Sitharaman said the SEBI has already issued guidelines in the backdrop of developments and monitoring it daily thrice in a day.
She said the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is regulating the market in the backdrop of the lockdown.
The Minister said Prime Minister Narendra Modi is himself monitoring the situation and a multi-layered task force that includes representatives of industry and MPs, is constantly analysing the inputs submitted to it by various sectors.
Wednesday, 25 March 2020 | PNS | New Delhi