The government on Tuesday brought in an Ordinance to give relief in compliance in filing income tax, GST, customs and central excise returns, to help taxpayers tide over the coronavirus crisis.
The ''Taxation and Other Laws (Relaxation of Certain Provisions) Ordinance, 2020'', which got assent of the President on Tuesday, also amends a provision in the Income Tax Act to allow 100 per cent deduction on donations to the PM-CARES Fund.
"The limit on deduction of 10 per cent of gross income shall also not be applicable for donation made to PM-CARES Fund," an official statement said.
With the promulgation of the ordinance, the last date for filing income tax returns for 2018-19 as well as that for linking PAN with biometric ID Aadhaar has been extended by three months to June 30.
The date for making various investment and payment for claiming deduction under Chapter-VIA-B of IT Act, which includes Section 80C (LIC, PPF, NSC etc.), 80D (Mediclaim), 80G (Donations), has also been extended to June 30. Hence, the investment and payment can be made up to June 30 for claiming the deduction under these sections for 2019-20.
Also, the last date of furnishing of the central excise returns due in March, April and May 2020 has been extended to June 30, 2020.
"The government has promulgated an ordinance to give effect to the various relief measures announced by Smt @nsitharaman on March 24 relating to income tax return filing, GST compliance, PAN-Aadhaar linkage and other statutory and regulatory issues," the office of the finance minister said in a tweet.
It also extends the date till June 30 for passing of order or issuance of notices by the authorities under various direct taxes and Benami law. Besides, the date for ''Vivad Se Viswas'' scheme has also been extended by three months till June-end.
Further, a reduced rate of 9 per cent interest shall be charged for non-payment of income tax (advance tax, TDS, TCS), equalisation levy, securities transactions tax, and commodities transactions tax which are due for payment from March 20 to June 29 this year.
"In addition to the extension of time limits under the Taxation and Benami Acts as above, an enabling section has got inserted in the CGST Act, 2017, empowering the government to extend due dates for various compliances inter-alia including statement of outward supplies, filing refund claims, filing appeals, etc. specified, prescribed or notified under the Act, on recommendations of the GST Council," an official statement said.
"The government has brought in an ordinance on March 31 which provides for extension of various time limits under the Taxation and Benami Acts. It also provides for extension of time limits contained in the Rules or Notification which are prescribed/ issued under these Acts," the statement said.
With regard to the PM-CARES Fund, the statement said that as the date for claiming deduction under Section 80G of the I-T Act has been extended up to June 30, the donation made up to June 30 shall also be eligible for deduction from income of 2019-20.
"Hence, any person including corporate paying concessional tax on income of FY 2020-21 under new regime can make donation to the PM-CARES Fund up to June 30, 2020, and can claim deduction u/s 80G against income of FY 2019-20 and shall also not lose his eligibility to pay tax in concessional taxation regime for income of FY 2020-21," it added.
The Prime Minister's Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations (PM CARES) Fund has been set up for providing relief to the persons affected by the outbreak of coronavirus.
As the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdown in the country restricted movement and created large-scale economic disruption, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had on March 24 announced easing of various compliance and statutory requirements for filing tax returns.