The government on Wednesday gave more time to 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 a 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. According to the notification, taxpayers will get one more month to file income tax returns for FY19 till end of July.
Taxpayers can also make various investments to claim the ₹1.5 lakh deduction from taxable income till end of July. The earlier deadline was 30 June after the first extension given in March under the Taxation and other Laws (Relaxation of Certain Provisions) Ordinance. Taxpayers have time till end of November for filing returns for FY20.
With the extension of the relaxations, the government seems to suggest it may take longer to return to normalcy, considering the surge in coronavirus infections in India.
The overall covid-19 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 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 taxpayers by extending various time limits of compliances, said the statement. The relaxations also cover compliance requirements for paying self-assessment tax, starting 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 June end.
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 30 June 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 eased certain compliance requirements under the Companies Act. 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.