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In what has come as a massive relief for taxpayers, the government has extended key tax related compliance timelines for income tax as well as Goods and Services Tax. The government has also waived late fees to ease compliance burden amidst the second wave of Covid-19 pandemic. With the Covid-19 cases rising exponentially in the country, experts are of the opinion that the government might need to extend the timelines further.
The CBDT, in a statement, stated that due to adverse circumstances owing to the Covid-19 pandemic and considering several requests from taxpayers, tax consultants and other stakeholders across the country, requesting for relaxation in compliance dates, the government has extended certain timelines today.
The Ministry of Finance had received many industry representations, also from MSMEs (Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises), for a breather of up to 3 months.
The due date stands extended with respect to filing belated or revised income tax returns for financial year 2019-20, GSTR-1 (sales return), GSTR-4 (annual composition return), GSTR-3B (summary return), filing appeal and paying taxes. Further, the rate of interest has been rationalised and also the late fee has been waived off in many cases.
Here is the list of relaxations provided to taxpayers with regard to tax related compliance amidst Covid-19:
The Finance Ministry has notified nine changes in the GST compliance requirements. The notifications have been issued on the basis of recommendations from the GST council.
As you would be aware of the fact that many parts of India are facing some sort of a lockdown. Tax experts believe that SMEs would have been among the worst-hit sectors, had tax related compliances timelines were not extended.
Shailesh Kumar, Nangia and Co. LLP Partner, is of the opinion that the government has given much needed compliance relief to taxpayers, and in case the situation in the country doesn’t improve in future, the government may have to extend these deadlines further as large number of people reel under the pandemic.
Abhishek Jain, Tax Partner, EY stated that with an unprecedented surge in the pandemic and lockdown in several parts of the nation, many industry players would have found it difficult to meet the deadlines of GST compliances. Therefore the extension shall provide much needed relief.
Sachin Taparia, Chairman and Founder, Local Cirlcles, opined that the government might have to extend timelines till 30th June in case lockdown and restriction continue beyond 24th May, preventing small businesses to file.
It is no doubt a much needed relief for taxpayers and businesses as the timelines for tax related compliances have been extended. The Covid-19 pandemic has caused so much uncertainty in everyone’s mind that it has become imperative to make informed decisions. The way things are moving forward, we might see yet another extension in future.
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