“What’s the use of a fine house if you haven’t got a tolerable planet to put it on.”
A very famous quote of poet and philosopher Henry David Thoreau which holds so true in the present crisis this world is facing. The global pandemic and proliferate increase in its outspread has led the common man to face the crisis. In view of the challenges faced by taxpayers in meeting the compliance requirements under various provisions of the Income-Tax Act, 1961, the Government has maneuvered a number of relief measures. Through this article, I have tried to enumerate the relaxations and relief steps announced by the Government from time to time in the past two months for the benefit of the taxpayers.
1. Extension of Various Time Limits
|Extension for||Previous Due Date||Revised Due Date|
|Linking PAN with unique biometric ID Aadhaar||31.03.2020||30.06.2020|
|Time limit for making investment in saving instruments u/s 80C, 80D, 80G such as PPF, NSC, Mediclaim, etc or investments for roll over benefit of capital gains under various laws for FY 2019-20 (AY 2020-21)||31.03.2020||30.06.2020|
|Belated Return Filing for FY 2018-2019 (AY 2019-20)
|Filing of appeal, furnishing of return, statements, applications, reports, any other documents and any compliance by the taxpayer||31.03.2020||30.06.2020|
|Issue of notice, intimation, notification, approval order, sanction order and time limit for completion of proceedings by the authority.||31.03.2020||30.06.2020|
|For assessments getting time barred on||30.09.2020||31.12.2020|
|Filing TDS Return for 4th quarter of FY 2019-20 (AY 2020-21)||31.05.2020||30.06.2020|
|Issuance of Form 16||15.06.2020||30.06.2020|
|Filing of Tax Audit Report||30.09.2020||31.10.2020|
|Income Tax Return filing for FY 2019-20 (AY 2020-21) due date for assessee (except those required to submit report u/s 92E) – audited entity/ partner/ company||31.10.2020||30.11.2020|
|Assessee other than above
|Vivad se Vishwas Scheme (without payment of additional amount of 10%)||31.03.2020||31.12.2020|
2. Reduction in TDS/TCS Rates
Reduction in TDS and TCS rate for non-salaried payments (Payment for contract, professional fees, interest, rent, dividend, commission, brokerage, etc.) for period up to March 31, 2021 has been reduced by 25%.
3. Issuing Pending Income Tax Refunds up to Rs. 5 lacs
In order to provide relief for individuals who are facing cash crunch due to pay cuts or job loss or waiting for their salaries or wages to be released by their employers, the Income Tax Department also announced to issue all pending income tax refunds up to Rs 5 lakh immediately to individuals, charitable trusts and business entities.
4. Reduction in statutory EPF Rate
In order to increase the take home pay of employees and reduce the cost to the employers, Statutory PF contribution by employer reduced to 10% from 12% for three months- May, June and July 2020. EPF or employee provident fund contribution will be 10% each for employees and employers. Central public sector enterprises and State PSUs will however, continue to contribute 12% as employer contribution. The reduced rate is also not applicable to establishments eligible for PMGKY benefits, since the entire employees and employers contribution totalling to 24% of the monthly wages is being contributed by the Central govt.
5. Deferment of Applicability of Clause 30C (GAAR Provisions) & Clause 44 (GST Details) in the Tax Audit Report
CBDT vide Circular No. 10/2020 dated 24.04.2020 deferred the applicability of Clause 30C & Clause 44 of Form 3CD (Tax Audit Report) till March 31, 2021. The reporting under clause 30C and clause 44 of the Tax Audit Report was kept in abeyance till 31st March, 2019 vide Circular No. 6/2018 dated 17.08.2018, which was subsequently extended to 31 .03.2020 vide Circular No. 9/2019.
6. Relief for the purpose of Residency
CBDT issued Income Tax Circular No. 11/ 2020 dated 08.05.2020 in respect of Residential Status for Assessment Year (AY) 2020-21 to provide NRIs and foreigners visiting India heave a sigh of relief. CBDT has come out with this circular in which
-For persons who came to India before March 22, 2020, the period of stay from March 22 to March 31, 2020 will not be taken into account for determining the number of days of stay in India.
-For persons who have been quarantined in India due to COVID-19 on or after March 1, 2020 and have either not been able to leave India prior to March 31 2020, or were able to leave India on an evacuation flight on or before March 31, 2020, the period of the stay from the beginning of the quarantine till March 31, 2020 or the date of departure, as applicable, will not be taken into account for determining the number of days of stay in India.
-For persons who have departed on an evacuation flight on or before March 31, 2020, the period of stay in India from March 22, 2020, to the date of departure, shall not be taken into account for determining the number of days of stay in India.
7. Other Measures
In the words of Jane Goodallm “You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference and you have to decide what kind of a difference you want to make.”
So, in this crucial time, please stay back at your home and keep yourself and your family safe from COVID-19.
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