Taxation and other laws


In order to implement the announcements made by Hon’ble Finance Minister vide Press Release dated March 24, 2020 regarding several relief measures in relation to compliances (both statutory or regulatory) across various sectors in view of the outbreak of COVID-19 across the country, the Government of India has brought in an ordinance called Taxation & Other (Relaxation of Certain Provisions) Ordinance, 2020 (hereinafter referred to as ‘Ordinance’) dated March 31, 2020 which provides for the extension of various time limits under taxation and Benami laws along with the extension of time limits as contained in various notifications which are issued under these laws.

Important provisions contained under the Ordinance are summarized hereunder for quick references:

Direct Taxes and Benami Acts:
  1.  Due to file original as well as revised income tax return for the AY 2019-20 (FY 2018-19) extended to June 30, 2020.
  2.  Date to link Aadhaar and PAN has been extended to June 30, 2020.
  3. The date for making investments etc. for claiming deductions for the FY 2019-20 under Chapter VIA-B of Income Tax Act, 1961 like LIC, PPF, NSC, Mediclaim, donations, etc. has been extended to June 30, 2020.
  4. Date of making the investment, construction or purchase for rollover benefit in respect of capital gains under Section 54 to 54GB of the Income Tax Act has been extended to June 30, 2020.
  5. The date for commencement of operations for SEZ units claiming deduction u/s 10AA has also been extended to June 30, 2020 who have received approvals by March 31, 2020.
  6. Date of issuance of orders or notices by the authorities under various direct tax laws or Benami law has been extended to June 30, 2020.
  7. No penalty or prosecution, but a reduced rate of interest at 9% in case of a delayed payment of TDS, TCS, advance tax, equalization levy, STT, CTT, the due date of which falls between March 20, 2020 to June 29, 2020 and such dues are paid by June 30, 2020.
  8. Declaration and payment under Vivad se Vishwas Scheme can be made up to June 30, 2020 without additional payments.
Indirect Taxes
  1. Central excise returns falling due in the month of March 2020, April 2020 and May 2020 can be filed up to June 30, 2020.
  2. The due date of making a reply, appeal, application, furnishing of report, return or statement, etc., where such due date was falling between March 20, 2020 to June 29, 2020, shall stand extended to June 30, 2020. This shall apply where such reply, appeal, application, etc., related to Central Excise laws, Customs Laws and Service Tax laws.
  3. The due date of completion of any proceeding, issuance of the order. Notice, intimation, notification, sanction or approval by any Authority, Commission, Tribunal, etc. where such due date was falling between March 20, 2020 to June 29, 2020, shall stand extended to June 30, 2020. This shall apply in relation to Central Excise laws, Customs Laws and Service Tax laws.
  4. Due date of making payment under Sabka Vishwas (Legacy Dispute Resolution) Scheme, 2019 has been extended to June 30, 2020.
  5. Enabling powers given to Government in Central Goods and Services Tax Act, 2017, to extend (on the recommendation of GST Council) the due dates for various compliances including the filing of GSTR-1, refund claims, appeals, etc. specified, prescribed and notified under the said Act.

Changes in Foreign Trade Policy & Handbook of Procedures, 2015-2020

Certain measures and reliefs have also been given by the Government through amendments in Foreign Trade Policy and Handbook of Procedure, 2015-2020. A summary of a few of the important reliefs has been given hereunder for quick references.

  1. Existing FTP 2015-2020 and the Handbook of Procedure 2015-2020 validity has been extended from March 31, 2020 to March 31, 2021.
  2. Exemption to imports against Advance Authorization, for physical exports, from IGST and GST cess has been extended to March 31, 2021 which earlier was up to March 31, 2020.
  3. In case of validity of Duty-Free Import Authorization (DFIA) including transferrable DFIA’s expiring between February 01, 2020 to July 31, 2020, such validity shall be extended by 6 months from the date of expiry.
  4. Capital goods imported under EPCG authorizations for physical exports are exempted from IGST and GST Cess up to March 31, 2021. Earlier, such exemption was up to March 31, 2020.
  5. Regional Authorities (RA) shall not insist upon valid Registration-cum-Membership Certificate (RCMC) where such RCMC has expired on or before March 31, 2020 from applicants for any incentive/authorizations till September 30, 2020. Fee for the FY 2020-21 shall be collected on the restoration of normalcy.
  6. In the case where the date of Let Export Order falls between February 01, 2019 to May 31, 2019, MEIS benefit in respect of such shipping bills can be filed with 15 months, instead of 12 months.
  7. Due date to file an application under SEIS scheme for the FY 2018-19 shall be extended to December 31, 2020.
  8. Due date to file claims under Rebate of State and Central Levies and Taxes (RoSCLT) scheme against shipping bills having Let Export Order dates from March 07, 2019 to December 31, 2019 shall be extended to December 31, 2020 which earlier was June 30, 2020.

Information contained herein is only for reference purposes and is based on the information publicly available as on the date of this publication. The author takes no responsibility for its reliability and accuracy. It is advised to take appropriate legal/professional advice before undertaking any business activity or otherwise based on the above.


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