Pursuant to the current epidemic situation of COVID-19, the Central Board of Direct Taxes (“CBDT”) has vide its order dated 31.03.2020 issued clarification with respect to Lower/Nil TDS deduction certificate and Lower/Nil TCS collection certificate. The clarifications issued by CBDT are as follows:

1. All the assessees who have applied for lower/nil deduction or collection certificate for the FY 2020-21 and holding lower/nil deduction or collection certificate for the FY 2019-20, the validity of lower/nil deduction or collection certificate for the FY 2019-20 shall be extended to 30.06.2020 or issuance of lower/nil deduction or collection certificate for the FY 2020-21, whichever is earlier.

2. All the assessees who could not file an application for lower/nil deduction or collection certificate for the FY 2020-21 but holding lower/nil deduction or collection certificate for the FY 2019-20, the validity of lower/nil deduction or collection certificate for the FY 2019-20 shall be extended to 30.06.2020. Further, these assessees are required to file an application (electronically via email) at the earliest, as soon as normalcy is restored or 30.06.2020, whichever is earlier.

3. In case of other assessees who have neither applied for lower/nil deduction or collection certificate for the FY 2020-21 nor holding lower/nil deduction or collection certificate for the FY 2019-20, shall file an application electronically via email to concerned AO. The email application shall contain all the requisite information/data/document as normally required to be filed/furnished. The concerned AO shall issue the certificate to the applicant electronically via email.

4. Where any payment is required to be made to a NR (inc. Foreign Company) having PE in India and the NR is not covered in point 1 and 2 above, i.e., in case the NR is not holding lower/nil deduction or collection certificate for the FY 2019-20, TDS at the rate of 10% (inc. surcharge and cess) shall be deducted on payment till 30.06.2020 or disposal of their application, whichever is earlier.

In continuation of order dated 31.03.2020, further clarification on the below issues has been issued by CBDT vide its order dated 09.04.2020. The clarifications are as following:

1. Issue of validity period of lower/nil deduction or collection certificates of FY 2019-20: It has been clarified that if a certificate was issued for a period from 01.10.2019 to 15.12.2019, the same shall be valid for a period from 01.04.2020 to 30.06.2020, subject to the conditions as specified in the order dated 31.03.2020.

2. Issue of threshold/transaction limit for lower/nil deduction or collection certificate of FY 2019-20:The threshold/transaction limit for lower/nil deduction or collection certificate of FY 2019-20 will be considered fresh for the period from 1st April, 2020 to 30th June, 2020 and the same threshold/transaction limit as mentioned in the lower/nil deduction or collection certificate of FY 2019-20 shall apply for a period from 1st April, 2020 to 30th June, 2020.

3. Issue of new/different TAN mentioned for lower/nil deduction or collection application for FY 2020-21 or revision of rates mentioned in certificates of FY 2019-20:It has been clarified that if an assessee has a certificate for the FY 2019-20 and has applied for a certificate for the FY 2020-21 for a new/different TAN or for a revised (lower) rate, the relaxations as provide vide order dated 31.03.2020 shall not be available and they shall file an application electronically via email to concerned AO.

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