What relief taxpayers and tax professionals expect from Government in this Corona Virus Crisis
Arjun (Fictional Character): Krishna, the Pandemic of COVID-19 is spreading all over the country like a wildfire now. The government in many states have passed orders to close down educational institutions, government offices, malls, etc. i.e places of social gatherings, and have permitted the workers to “Work from home” as a preventive measure against the known “CORONA VIRUS”. Why aren’t the professional firms closing their offices and not providing work from home to their staff and articles?
Krishna (Fictional Character): Arjuna, COVID-19 virus is indeed a big epidemic. But 31st March also a very important deadline which cannot be ignored at all. Inspite of the widespread of the Corona Virus, the government has not yet extended the due dates for tasks which are to be wrapped up before 31st March 2020. The taxpayers might have to pay heavy penalties if the important tasks are not closed down before 31st March. Hence it becomes obligatory for tax professionals to carry on with their work. As a part of economic package relief from corona, few relief may be given to taxpayers.
Arjun (Fictional Character): Krishna, Due to spread of COVID-19, which are the due dates under GST law which may be extended by the government?
Krishna (Fictional Character): Arjuna, The following due dates may be extended by the government:
1. Due dates GSTR-3B for the month of March, 2020 or late fees should be waived.
2. Due dates for the exporters who make exports without paying tax under LUT should apply for LUT for FY 20-21.
3. Due dates for taxpayers to convert under Composition scheme from FY 20-21.
Arjun (Fictional Character): Krishna, Due to spread of COVID-19, which are the due dates under the Income Tax Act which may be extended by the government?
Krishna (Fictional Character): Arjuna, following due dates may be extended by the government:
1. The last date for filing Income tax return for the F.Y 2018-18 is 31st March 2020 with payment of late fees of Rs. 10,000/-. Due date for the same may be extended till 30th April 2020.
2. The due date to pay advance tax was 15th of March. The government may with Interest allow taxpayer to pay advance tax till 30th April 2020.
3. The due date to opt for the “Vivad se Vishwas scheme, 2020” from March 31, 2020 to 31st May 2020 for 1st
4. TDS due date of 7th april may be extended till 7th may or 31st May with Interest and waive late fees on TDS late filing.
Arjun (Fictional Character): Krishna, what are the other tax matters that should be given relief?
Krishna (Fictional Character): Arjuna, the other deadlines that should be considered and given relief are:
1. The government should waive-off penalties or late fee or interest, in case of delayed discharge of any statutory dues under GST laws, IT Act, etc. during February 2020 and March, 2020;
2. The government should also give instructions to Tax officers to put a temporary hold on the fixation of personal hearings under the GST laws or IT Act;
3. The government should issue instructions to the adjudicating/appellate authorities to not pass any order ex-parte.
4. The government should issue instructions to the adjudicating/appellate authorities for considering the requests for the adjournments.
Arjun (Fictional Character): Krishna, What should the government learn from this?
Krishna (Fictional Character): Arjuna, The economy was already at slowdown and now facing bigger crisis due to Corona Virus. The revenue authorities already have low collection and is in need of funds for fighting against the Corona Virus, When the government is saying Work from Home, the same thing may apply for Tax Professionals also. But this will only happen if the government extends the due dates in the month of March i.e “Government says ‘Kar-Bharona’ while Tax Payers says ‘Ruko !!! Aaya hai Corona’ ”