Tax filing dates extended, business rules eased, ATM, bank charges waived off in Covid relief measures

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Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced a slew of measures for extension of statutory and regulatory compliances in view of the coronavirus pandemic spreading its wings and impacting the economy. Allaying fears that there is no economic emergency in the country, she said that the Economic Task Force will soon announce an economic relief package to deal with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the economy.

Here are the key announcements:

Financial Services:
*Debit cardholders who withdraw cash from any bank ATM can do it free of any charge for the next three months. The measure has been taken to ease the burden on customers who need urgent cash and avoid overcrowding of bank branches.

*There will be no charges on not keeping the minimum balance requirement. The country’s largest lender State Bank of India had already waived the requirement of holding a minimum balance in the savings account.

*Reduced digital charges for trade transactions.

Tax measures

*For the Financial year 2018-19, the last date for returns extended to June 30, 2020. For delayed payments made till June 30, the interest rate reduced to 9% from 12%.

*For the delayed deposit of TDS, interest has been reduced to 9 % from 18%

*Aadhaar-pan linking extended to June 30 from March 31

*Vivaad se Vishwaas scheme extended to June 30. And no additional payment of 10% to be paid

*All compliances under Income Tax Act, Wealth Tax Act, Benami Transaction Act, Black Money Act, Vivaad se Vishwaas, have been extended to June 30, 2020.

For GST

*All GST returns for March, April, May, and composition returns extended to June 30, 2020

*For companies less than 5 cr no late fee and penalty to be charged. For above Rs 5 cr, the only int at the rate of 9%

For Companies

*In respect of the MCA21 registry, there is a moratorium being issued from April 1 till Sep 30 no additional fees for late filing.

*There is a mandatory requirement for holding a Board meetings. We are relaxing it for 60 days for the next two quarters.

*For newly incorporated cos, additional time of six more months is being given for filing declaration of commencement of business

*If there is a company director who does not comply with a minimum residency requirement of 182 days, this was treated as a violation. It shall not be treated as one.

For Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code

*Threshold of default is Rs one lakh as of now. From Rs one lakh it is being raised to Rs one crore to prevent triggering of insolvency proceedings for SMEs.

*If it continues like this beyond April, then sec 7, 9, 10 of the IBC will be suspended for a period of six months.