Govt extends various tax compliance deadlines through an ordinance

The ordinance extends the last date for filing original and revised income-tax returns for 2018-19 (Apr-Mar) and the deadline for linking Aadhaar with Permanent Account Numbers to Jun 30 from Mar 31.

The government has also extended the deadline for making various investments and payments for claiming deductions under income tax for 2019-20 to Jun 30. These measures were announced by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Mar 24. The government will also levy a reduced interest rate of 9% for non-payment of income-tax, equalistion levy, securities transaction tax, and commodities transaction tax, which are due from Mar 20 to Jun 29 if the payment for the same is made by Jun 30.

No penalty will be levied or prosecution initiated for non-payment of these taxes. The ordinance has extended the date for declaration and payment under the Direct Tax Vivad Se Vishwas scheme till Jun 30 without any additional payment. For indirect taxes, the ordinance has extended the last date for furnishing Central Excise returns due in March, April and May to Jun 30. Similarly, the deadline for making payment to avail the benefit of Sabka Vishwas Legal Dispute Resolution Scheme, 2019, has been extended to Jun 30. The ordinance has also inserted an enabling section under the Central Goods and Services Tax Act, 2017, which allows the government to extend the due date for various compliances under the act based on the recommendations of the GST Council.

PM CARES FUND The ordinance amends the Income Tax Act so that the donations made to the Prime Minister's Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations Fund or PM CARES Fund are eligible for 100% deduction under section 80G of the Act. "Further, the limit on deduction of 10% of gross income shall also not be applicable for donation made to PM CARES Fund," the government said in a release. The fund has been set up to provide relief to the people affected from the novel coronavirus outbreak and the resulting lockdown. The donations made up to Jun 30 will be eligible for deduction from income of 2019-20 for claiming tax concession. A corporate availing the benefit of the new tax regime in 2020-21, can make donations to the fund until Jun 30 and get the benefit of claiming deduction under Section 80G of Income Tax Act for 2019-20, while at the same time it will not loose the benefit of concessional tax under the new tax regime for the current financial year. Domestic companies can pay corporate tax at the rate of 22%, provided they do not claim certain deductions under the Income Tax Act.

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