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Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman today announced that the last date for filing Income Tax and Goods and Services (GST) returns would be extended to June 30, in view of the Coronavirus outbreak.
The last date for Aadhaar-PAN linkage for the purpose of filing IT returns has also been extended to June 30.
Late filing of income tax returns will invite a penalty at the reduced rate of 9%, as opposed to 12%, the Finance Minister announced today.
In a relief for small businesses, companies with a turnover Rs 5 crore or less will not have to pay a late fee or penalty for failing to file GST returns on time. Those businesses having a turnover of more than Rs 5 crore will pay a reduced interest rate of 9% for late filing.
The last date for filing GST annual returns of Financial Year 18-19, which was earlier March 31, 2020, has also been extended till the last week of June 2020.
All compliances under the Income Tax Act, the Wealth Tax Act, the Benami Transaction Act, the Black Money Act, Vivaad se Vishwaas, have been extended to June 30, 2020.
Relaxations have also been announced for the banking sector. For the next three months, debit card holders may withdraw cash from any ATM without incurring a transaction fee. The fee to be paid for not maintaining minimum balance in accounts has also been waived.
The Finance Minister also announced reduced bank charges for digital trade transactions for all trade finance consumers.
Sitharaman further announced the decision to raise the threshold of default under section 4 of the IBC 2016 to Rs 1 crore (from the existing threshold of Rs 1 lakh). This will by and large prevent triggering of insolvency proceedings against MSMEs.
It was also announced that the government was considering the suspension of Sections 7, 9 and 10 of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) for six months, if the current situation continues beyond 30th of April 2020.
These provisions lay down the procedure for initiation of the corporate insolvency resolution process by the financial creditor, by the operational creditor and by the corporate applicant respectively.