Union Finance Ministry (Image: PTI)
The central government on May 2 extended the compliance timelines for income tax and goods and services tax, waived late fees, and also reduced the interest rates for GST assesses, due to the resurgence of the COVID-19 pandemic and the hardships it has caused.
The government's decision comes at a time when several parts of the country including Delhi, Mumbai, cities in Haryana, and Uttar Pradesh are facing a lockdown, and small and medium enterprises would get hit if compliance timelines were not extended.
The decision also comes after the ministry of finance had received multiple requests from the industry wanting tax compliance timelines to be pushed back by up to three months.
The Centre has waived off the late fee on delayed filing of monthly return GSTR-3B and tax payment for the months of March and April and also cut interest rate for late filers, the government said in a press release.
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The Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs on May 1 issued the notification, saying that these relaxations come into effect from April 18.
In a notification dated May 1, the government said that taxpayers with a turnover of over Rs 5 crore have been given 15 extra days to file monthly summary return GSTR-3B and pay taxes without paying any late fees. Following which they would be required to pay a lower 9 percent interest rate for those 15 days, any further delay attract an interest rate of 18 percent.
Business with a turnover up to Rs 5 crore in 2019-20 have been given 30 days more from their original due date for filing 3B returns for March and April, with late fee waiver. Interest rate would be 'nil' for the first 15 days, post which it would be 9 percent. After 30 days, a 18 percent interest would be levied.
As part of its relief measure, the government has also extended the timeline for filing belated or revised Income Tax Returns for 2019-20 (Apr-Mar). The government has also pushed back the timeline to file GSTR-1 or sales return, GSTR 3B or summary return and GSTR -4 or annual composition return.
Furthermore, the government has also pushed back the timelines to file any appeal and payment of taxes.
The government has extended the date for filing of income tax, of belated return under and revised return under Assessment Year 2020-21 till May 31, 2021 from March 31.
Income-tax return in response to notice under Section 148 of the Act has been extended to May 31 from April 1.
Also, the due date for filing objections to Dispute Resolution Panel and filing appeals to the commissioner has been extended till May 31.