The COVID-19 pandemic has already beaten black and blue the Indian markets, with the Nifty and Sensex entering the lower circuits for the second time in less than a month today. Enterprises have come to a halt on a microscopic point! Leave the tax compliances alone, but companies have a tough time handling their day-to-day business activities.

India’s government has placed lockdowns across the country’s many districts from March 22, 2020, until 14 April 2020. It was done in an attempt to prevent further Coronavirus spread. States were also ordered to bring legal action against any infringers.

The crisis has meant a lot for all the businesses that now they are not able to execute some critical year-end activities, including the closing of account books. Along with that, monthly compliances relating to banks are also being hindered. Compliance with the GST returns is considerably lower in GSTR-3B this month. Now all operations activities and compliances are stuck and need time to be executed.

COVID-19 lockdown

Keeping the current situation in mind, most of the companies, in particular the ITBP sector, have asked their employees to work from home. It is possible that establishments in certain sectors can adopt home-style work. But in a typical manufacturing setup, there are businesses that have teams such as production, inspection, and audit that are the disadvantaged lot.

The Ministries of Finance and Corporate Affairs have also considered the compliance requirements for the taxpayers.

Following are the decisions with respect to GST return date extended

1. Those having aggregate annual turnover less than Rs. 5 Crore can file GSTR-3B due in March, April and May 2020 by the last week of June, 2020. No interest, late fee, and penalty to be charged.

2. Others can file returns due in March, April and May 2020 by last week of June 2020 but the same would attract reduced rate of interest @9 % per annum from 15 days after due date (current interest rate is  18 % per annum). No late fee and penalty to be charged, if complied before till 30th June 2020.

3. Date for opting for composition scheme is extended till the last week of June, 2020.  Further, the last date for making payments for the quarter ending 31st March, 2020 and filing of return for 2019-20 by the composition dealers will be extended till the last week of June, 2020.

4. Date for filing GST annual returns of FY 18-19, which is due on 31st March, 2020 is extended till the last week of June 2020.

5. Due date for issue of notice, notification, approval order, sanction order, filing of appeal, furnishing of return, statements, applications, reports, any other documents, time limit for any compliance under the GST laws where the time limit is expiring between 20th March 2020  to 29th June 2020 shall be extended to 30th June 2020.

6. Necessary legal circulars and legislative amendments to give effect to the aforesaid GST relief shall follow with the approval of GST Council.

7. Payment date under Sabka Vishwas Scheme shall be extended to 30th June, 2020. No interest for this period shall be charged if paid by 30th June, 2020.

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May 2021