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FM Announced Relief Measures Related to Covid-19 Outbreak: Statutory and Regulatory Compliance Matters

Deepti Shikha

| Updated: Mar 26, 2020 | Category: Covid-19, Latest News, Taxation

Relief Measures Related to Covid-19 Outbreak

The outbreak of coronavirus or commonly known as Covid-19 has impacted the lives of both, general citizens as well as the trade and businesses. In this situation where lockdown has been declared the business persons were expecting some relief in deadlines for payment of taxes and interests. The Honourable Supreme Court recently ruled on the Force Majeure Clause to save businesses from delay in execution of their contracts and also its financial implications. Looking at the ongoing issue the Union Finance and Corporate Affairs Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced several Relief Measures Related to Covid-19 Outbreak to measures which were decided by the Government of India amidst the Covid-19 outbreak.

The measures are mainly focused on statutory and regulatory compliance matters which are related to several sectors such as Income Tax, GST, Customs and Central Excise, Corporate Affairs, IBC or Insolvency or Bankruptcy Code, Fisheries, Banking Sector and Commerce.

There were many persons of different ministries present along with the Finance Minister like Shri Anurag Singh Thakur-Minister of State and Corporate Affairs, Shri A.B. Pandey- Finance Secretary, Shri Atanu Chakraborty- Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs.

The relief measures related to covid-19 outbreak regarding statutory and compliance matters in various sectors are discussed below in this article:

Income Tax

Income Tax Returns

Due date of filing Income Tax Returns  Financial Year Original Date Revised Date
Extended   2018-2019 31st March 2020 30th June 2020

Aadhar PAN Linking Date

Due Date for Linking Aadhar card an PAN Card   Original Date Revised Date
Extended   31st March, 2020 30th June, 2020

Vivad se Vishwas scheme (Direct Tax)

Due Date   Waiver Amount Revised date
Extended   No additional 10% amount 30th  June , 2020

Others

Due Date Sector Particulars By whom Original Date Revised Date
Extended   Investment in the saving instruments or investments for roll over benefit of capital gains under Income Tax Act, Wealth Act, Prohibition of Benami Property Transaction Act, Black Money Act, STT Law, CTT Law, Equalisation Levy Law, , Vivad Se Vishwas  law   Notice, Intimation, Approval Order, or Sanction Order or Filing of Appeal or Furnishing of Return, Statements, Applications Reports, Any other Documents, and Time limit of Completing the Proceedings   By the authority, or any taxpayer 20th March 2020  to 29th June 2020 30th June 2020
  • No penalty will be charged for delayed payments of advance tax, regular tax, self-assessment tax, TDS, TCS, Equalisation Levy, STT, CTT that is made between 20th March, 2020 to 30th June, 2020.
  • The rate of interest has also been reduced at 9% instead of 12% or 18% per annum i.e. 0.75% per month instead of 1 or 1.5 % per month will be charged for this period. No late fee or penalty will be charged for delay made in this period.

GST or Indirect Tax

The due dates have been extended as relief measures related to Covid-19 Outbreak for GST.

GSTR-3B

  • Business with annual turnover of less than five crores can file GSTR-3B, which is due in March, April and May 2020 by last week of June, 2020.
  • No interest or late fee and penalty will be charged.

For Other types of GSTR

  • For other types of GSTR having a due date in March, April and May 2020 can file by last week of June 2020.
  • It will attract a reduced rate of interest @9 % per annum from 15 days after due date .The current interest rate is  fixed at 18%.
  • No late fees or penalty is to be charged, if complied before till 30th June 2020.

Composition Scheme

  • The Composition scheme’s date is extended until the last week of   June 2020.  
  • The last date for payments for the quarter ending 31st March 2020 and also filing of return for 2019-20 by the composition dealers will be extended till last week of June 2020.
  • Date for filing GST annual returns of for the year 2018-2019, the due date on 31st  March, 2020 is extended till the last week of  June 2020.
  • Due date for issue of notice or notification or approval order or sanction order or filing of appeal or furnishing of return or statements or applications or reports or any other documents or time limit for any compliance under the GST laws where the time span will expire between 20th March to 29th June 2020 it shall be extended to 30th June 2020. 
  • The Payment date under the scheme Sabka Vishwas shall be extended to 30th June 2020. No interest will becharged for this period  it is paid by 30th June, 2020.

More on Covid-19 Outbreak: Spurt in Demand for Food Products amid Covid-19 Outbreak .

Customs

As relief measures related to Covid-19 Outbreak specific changes have been made in customs: 

  • The Custom clearance will be made till 30th June 2020.
  • The due date for issue of notice or notification or approval order or sanction order or filing of appeal or furnishing of return or statements or applications or reports or any other documents or time limit for any compliance under Customs Act and other allied Laws where the time span will expire is between 20th March 2020  to 29th June 2020 shall be extended to 30th June 2020.

Financial Services

  Relaxation provided for 3 months on:

  • Withdrawal of cash for free from ATMs of any other bank for debit card holders for 3 months.
  • Minimum balance fee waived.
  • Bank charges of digital trade transactions reduced for all trade finance consumers.

Corporate Affairs

MCA-21

During the suspension period from 1st April to 30th September 2020 no additional fees shall be charged with respect to any document, return etc. which is required to be filed in the registration of MCA-21, irrespective of its due date which will not only reduce the compliance burden, including financial burden of companies or LLPs but also enable long-standing non-compliant companies or LLPs to make a ‘fresh start’.

Holding of General Meeting

The Board meeting of the companies as prescribed in the Companies Act, 2013 of 120 days shall be extended by a period of 60 days till next two quarters that is 30th September.

Companies (Auditor’s Report) Order, 2020

To ease the burden of the companies and their auditors the Companies (Auditor’s Report) Order, 2020 shall apply from the financial year 2020-21.

Meeting of Directors as per Companies Act, 2013

  • According to Schedule 4 of the Companies Act, 2013-The Independent Directors must hold at least one meeting without the attendance of Non-Independent directors and also the members of the management.
  • In case, the Independent Directors could not hold the meeting for the financial year 2019-2020 it will not be considered as violation.

Other Compliances

  • Creating of deposit reserve of 20% deposits during the financial year 2020-2021 before 30th April 2020 shall be allowed to comply until 30th June 2020.
  • Investing 15% debentures during the year in specified instruments may be done before 30th June, 2020.
  • Non-compliance of the minimum residency period in India by at least one director of the company for a period of at least 182 days as prescribed under Section 149 of the Companies Act, 2013 shall not be treated as a violation.

Filing of Declaration of Newly Incorporated Companies

The newly incorporated companies which are required to file declaration for commencement of business within six months of its incorporation have been given an additional time of 6 months to file declaration.

Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC)

  • In case the current situation prevails beyond 30th of April, 2020, section 7, 9 and 10 of the IBC 2016 might get suspended for a period of 6 months to stop companies at large from being forced into insolvency proceedings in such force majeure causes of default.
  • Due to the rising financial crisis faced by most companies on account of the large-scale economic distress because of COVID 19, the threshold  limit of defaulters has been increased under section 4 of the IBC 2016 to Rs 1 crore (from the existing limit of Rs 1 lakh). This will curtail the insolvency proceedings against MSMEs.

Department of Fisheries

As part of relief measures related to Covid-19 Outbreak for the department of fisheries, the following announcements are made:

  • The sanitary permits or SIPs for the import of SPF Shrimp Broodstock and other Agriculture inputs which will expire between 1st March 2020 to 15th April 2020, has been extended by three months.
  • Delay in arrival of consignments up to one month to be condoned.
  • Without additional booking charges the quarantine cubicles for cancelled consignments in Aquatic Quarantine Facility (AQF) to be rebooked.
  • Relaxation would be provided from 7 days to 3 days in case of verification of documents and grant of NOC for Quarantine.

Department of Commerce

The Ministry of Commerce will provide detailed notifications relating to the extension of timelines for various compliances and procedures with regard to relief measures on Covid-19 Outbreak.

Takeaway

Government is taking active steps considering the 21 days lockdown starting from today, i.e. 25th March 2020. The businesses will get a sigh of relief through these announcements. More announcements are expected in the near future if lockdown continues beyond 21 days period. The Government is trying its best to provide relief measures related to Covid-19 Outbreak.

Also, Read: Finance Bill 2020 Passed by Lok Sabha.

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Deepti Shikha

Deepti is a Law graduate with an avid interest in reading and very proficient in summarizing legal cases. She has enough experience in handling legal affairs of the company. In the initial days of her career, she has worked as a legal researcher and has 3+ years of experience.

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