In order to provide relief to the people of the India from the impact of lockdown, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman yesterday (March 24, 2020) made announcement that she took steps to waive off and relax dates of Income Tax Return (ITR), Aadhar and PAN Card linking date GST filing etc.
Following are the relaxations announced by Finance Minister:
- The Finance Minister announced an increase in the threshold for default under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) to Rs. 1 crore. Currently, the threshold of triggering insolvency cases stands at Rs. 1 lakh.
- In a major relief for the public, as only essential services remain open in many parts of the country to curb the spread of coronavirus, the Finance Minister announced free-of-charge withdrawals from ATMs of any bank for next three months.
- The government also waived the requirement of maintaining certain minimum balance in bank accounts. Currently, customers have to maintain certain minimum balance in their accounts or pay a penalty charge to the banks concerned.
- For taxpayers, the government extended the due date for filing tax returns towards income earned in financial year 2018-19 (assessment year 2019-20) to June 30.
- The Finance Minister also announced a relaxation in the interest rate applicable on delayed income tax returns (ITRs) to 9 per cent from the existing 12 per cent.
- Extending tax dispute resolution scheme "Vivad Se Vishwas" by three months, to June 30, Ms. Sitharaman said those availing the scheme will not be required to pay 10 per cent interest on principal as mandated under existing rules.
- Ms. Sitharaman also announced an extension in the due date for mandatory linking of Aadhaar with PAN to June 30. Currently, the compulsory seeding of the Aadhaar number into the PAN has to be carried out by March 31.
- The government also announced a range of relief measures for companies, including an extension in the deadline for filing returns towards the months of March, April and May to June 30.
- Also, companies with a turnover of less than Rs. 5 crore will not have to pay interest, penalty or late fee for filing delayed returns, the Finance Minister said.
- Announcing a relaxation for companies to hold board meetings for next two quarters, Ms. Sitharaman said: "If no board meeting is held for 2019-20, it will not be considered a violation."
Finance Minister at the end of conference urged to citizens to help government to curb outbreak of COVID-19 by staying at home and cooperating with government and follow precautionary measures informed by government such as washing hands after every two minutes, avoid crowd places etc.
Author – Satwik Sharma