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26 March 2020

Highlights of Hon'ble Finance Minister's speech on 24 March 2020

In the event of ongoing pandemic and consequent lockdown, since various deadlines were approaching, Hon'ble Finance Minister of India made special announcement on 24 March 2020 regarding steps to be taken to ease out statutory and compliance regulations. Hon'ble FM's speech covered many aspects related to-

  • Income tax
  • GST
  • Customs & Central Excise
  • Compliance & Regulations under the MCA
  • Insolvency & Bankruptcy Code
  • Fisheries compliances
  • Bank related compliances
  • Commerce related announcements

Announcements related to GST, Customs & Central Excise are summed up as-

1. Filing of GST returns - Last date for filing GST returns for the month of February, March & April 2020 extended till last week of June 2020. Actual dates in a phased manner for different class of taxpayers shall be announced accordingly. Interest and late fee shall be waived off till last week of June 2020.

2. Payment of taxes - For companies which have turnover of Rs. 5 crore or less, no Interest shall be charged on returns for the month of February, March and April 2020 filed up to last week of June 2020. However, for rest of the companies (which have turnover more than Rs. 5 crore), Interest at reduced rate of 9% p.a. from 18% p.a. shall be charged from 15 days after the respective due dates.

3. Composition Scheme - Date of opting composition scheme also extended to 30 June 2020. Also, the last date for making payments for the quarter ending 31 March 2020 and filing of return for 2019-20 by the composition dealers will be extended till the last week of June 2020.

4. SVLDRS, 2019 - Due date of payment under Sabka Vishwas (Legacy Dispute Resolution) Scheme, 2019 by declarants extended from erstwhile 31 March 2020 to 30 June 2020 and no interest shall be levied upto 30 June 2020 irrespective of the amount payable under the scheme.

5. Clearance under Customs - Customs clearance till 30 June 2020 shall operate 24x7.

6. Various due dates - Due date for issue of notice, notification, approval, order, sanction order, filing of appeal, furnishing of returns, statements, applications, reports, or any documents etc., time limit for any compliance under the GST or Customs Act and other Allied laws where the time limit is expiring between 20 March 2020 to 29 June 2020 shall be extended to 30 June 2020.

Relevant notification(s) bringing said amendments in force to follow.