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Centre gives more time for income tax filings, investments for FY20

  • The finance ministry gave more time for making investments to claim tax deductions for FY20 and for linking PAN with Aadhaar
  • Tax payers can also make various investments to claim the 1.5 lakh deduction from taxable income till end of July

New Delhi: The government on Wednesday gave extra time for individuals and businesses to meet various compliance requirements including for filing tax returns amid signs that the coronavirus pandemic will take time to subside.

The finance ministry notified fresh due date for filing tax returns for FY19 and gave more time for making investments to claim tax deductions for FY20 and for linking permanent account number (PAN) with Aadhaar. As per the notification, tax payers will get one more month to file income tax returns for FY19 till end of July. Tax payers can also make various investments to claim the 1.5 lakh deduction from taxable income till end of July. The earlier deadline was June after the first extension given in March under the Taxation and other Laws (Relaxation of Certain Provisions) Ordinance brought out in March. Tax payers have time till end of November for filing returns for FY20.

With the extension of the relaxations, the government seems to suggest that it may take longer to return to normalcy considering the surge in covid-19 infections in India.

The overall coronavirus case count in the country is still rising at a rapid pace—India reported over 14,000 coronavirus-related deaths and over 183,000 active cases as on Wednesday.

An official statement issued by the Central Board of Direct Taxes said that the due date for making investments for claiming deductions with respect to capital gains has also been extended to end of September. The idea is to provide further relief to the taxpayers by extending various time limits of compliances, said the statement. The relaxations also cover compliance requirements for paying self assessment tax, commencing operations from special economic zones to claim tax incentives and for various compliance requirements under the Benami Transactions Prohibition Act. Also, the due date for linking Aadhaar and PAN is now end of March 2021. The earlier deadline was end of June 2020. For certain other relaxations already announced by the government, legislative changes will be made in coming days, CBDT said.

However, there is no further extension for payment of taxes, said Ved Jain, former president of accounting rule maker Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI). “All taxpayers need to deposit tax due by 30th June, 2020 to take benefit of extension provided by earlier Ordinance and concessional rate of interest. In case of non-payment of tax by 30 June,2020, all the interest and penal provisions will apply from 20 March, 2020 itself," said Jain.

The government has also given certain compliance requirements under the Companies Act. As per this, companies can now take key decisions such as approving financial statements and clearing mergers and acquisitions via videoconferencing till September-end, with the government extending the 30 June deadline by three months.

In a notification issued on Tuesday, the corporate affairs ministry said companies need not hold in-person board meetings to approve annual reports and prospectus, or for clearing merger, de-merger and takeover proposals. The audit committees can also clear the financial statements over videoconferencing, it said. In the normal course, the Companies Act bars audio-visual means for taking important decisions.

In a separate notification, the corporate affairs ministry also gave more time to companies for empanelling the board of directors on the database managed by the Indian Institute of Corporate Affairs (IICA), Manesar. They now can do it by 22 August.

On 22 August 2019, the ministry had given a three-month window for all sitting directors to get empanelled. In February, it extended the deadline by two months. Tuesday’s amendment to the Companies (Appointment and Qualification of Directors) Rules, 2014, gives an additional two months for compliance till the fourth week of August.

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