Coronavirus live update: Nirmala Sitharaman extends ITR filing, GST return deadline to June 30

By Debolina Biswas & Sutrishna Ghosh|24th Mar 2020
The Finance Minister addressed the media on Tuesday, March 24, after revealing that a financial relief package to help Indians is in the works.
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Amid growing concerns over the coronavirus pandemic, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday announced a slew of financial relief measures to help deal with the pandemic-induced economic crisis in the country. 


In a press conference, Sitharaman touched upon the taxpayers' concerns surrounding Income tax returns, compliance, and the deadline related to GST, IBT related matters, bank related compliances etc. This comes after the Finance Minister revealed that the Narendra Modi-led government is working on a financial relief package to help people in the light of the COVID-19 pandemic.


In her tweet addressed to her 2.8 million followers on Twitter, FM added that she will be addressing the media on “statutory and regulatory compliance matters” on March 24. 


Nirmala Sitharaman


Nirmala Sitharaman LIVE Updates:

Income tax related :

  • FY 2018-19 the last date for IT returns will be now extended to June 30, 2020. 
  • For delayed payments, interest rate reduced from 12 to 9 percent.
  • No extension but on delayed deposit of TDS, only reduced interest of 9 percent till June 30, 2020. Current rate was 18 percent.
  • All dates have been extended to June 30, 2020: Due dates of issue of notice intimation/notification/ approval order/ sanction order/ submission of return/ return statement/ applications/ returns and any other documents and compliance by taxpayers or investments, Black Money Act, FTT Law, CTT Law, Equalisation Law.
  • Aadhar and PAN linking date extended to June 30, earlier it was March 31.
  • Vivaad se Viswas Scheme deadline for direct tax dispute resolution extended to June 30; there will be no 10 percent additional charge as well. 

Compliance and deadline related to GST : 

  • Last date for filing March, April and May 2020 GST returns, and compensation returns have all been extended to June 30, 2020. 
  • For GST, no different staggering dates will be applicable.
  • For companies which have less than Rs 5 crore turnover, no internet, late fee or penalty will be applicable.
  • Over businesses with turnover of more than Rs 5 crore, no late fee and penalty will be applicable, but interest will be charged at a reduced rate to 9 percent. 
  • Date for opting for the compensation scheme extended to June 30, 2020.
  • Sab ka Vikas date extended to June 30. During this period, although there is lockdown, we do not want to put importers/exporters, therefore custom clearance until June 30, 2020, round the clock (24x7)

Compliance and regulations relating to ministry of corporate affairs

  • In respect to MCA 21 registry, there is a moratorium being issued from April 1 till September 30. No additional fees for late filing.
  • Mandate for holding board meetings, relaxing it by a period of 60 days till the next two quarters. 
  • Applicability of the companies order 2020 shall be made applicable from FY2020-2021, instead of FY2019-2020. Companies auditors report order 2020, is now being shifted to FY2020-21.
  • For FY 2019-20, if independent directors of companies have not been able to hold one meeting, it shall not be seen as a violation.

Company Probations: 

  • For newly incorporated companies, there was a requirement of filing declaration for commencement of business within 6 months. However, now additional 6 months time is given to newly-incorporated companies.
  • For company directors who do not comply with the minimum residency in India (182 days or more), under section 149 of the Companies Act, it will now not be treated as violation.
  • Requirement of deposition deadline of reserve of 20 percent by April, shifted to June 30.
  • Requirement to invest 15 percent of debentures maturing in last financial year, can now be invested by June 30, 2020. 

On Insolvency and Bankruptcy: 

  • The threshold limit initially for insolvency was Rs 1 lakh. The FM raised the threshold of default to Rs 1 crore, to prevent insolvency among MSMEs.
  • However, the government will watch the situation, and if it continues to worsen beyond April 30, then the government may consider suspending Sections 7, 9, and 10 of the IBC for a period of 6 months so that companies can be stopped from filing for insolvency. 


Fisheries 

  • Compliance related to import permits, all SIPs for import of aquaculture inputs, which were to expire on March 1, 2020, and April 15, 2020, are all now extended by three more months. 
  • The delay of up to one month in the arrival of consignment for fisheries to be overlooked. 
  • Re-booking of quarantine cubicles in aquatic quarantine facilities in Chennai will not require additional charges.
  • Verification of documents and grant of NOC for quarantined will be relaxed to three months from seven days. 


Financial services

  • For the next three months, debit cardholders will get to withdraw cash from all bank ATMs, without being charged any extra fee. 
  • The government waived off the minimum bank balance fee.
  • Charges for digital trade transactions will be reduced.


Commerce 

  • For all commerce-related issues, an extension of timeline can be given but there shall be no modification of the scheme guidelines. 
  • Economic relief package is being worked out, will be announced soon.



As of Tuesday, globally, the total number of confirmed coronavirus cases have soared to 382,000, with a reported 16,574 fatalities, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. In India, the world’s second-most populous country, the COVID-19 pandemic has raised serious questions surrounding the state of healthcare, availability of testing kits and the pandemic's impact on the economy. India has a total of 492 confirmed cases and nine deaths reported so far.   


(Edited by Kanishk Singh)

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