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FM Nirmala Sitharaman

COVID-19: FM extends ITR filing till June for FY19, interest-free GST returns for SMEs

FM Nirmala Sitharaman

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday announced a series of relaxations including an extension in income tax return filing, waiver of interest, late fees or penalty for small and medium enterprises or SMEs, and some benefits for newly incorporated companies to help alleviate some of the issues arising out of the spread of COVID-19.

Sitharaman said that the last date for filing income tax returns for the financial year 2018-19 was being extended to 30 June 2020.

The government also gave the newly incorporated companies an additional six months extension to make their declaration of commencement of business. 

“For newly incorporated companies, there is a requirement to file declaration for the commencement of business, now we are giving them additional 6 more months to file commencement of business,” Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said in a press conference.

For SMEs, FM said that a business with a turnover of up to 5 crores can now file their GST returns without interest, late fees or penalty till 30th June 2020. 

Whereas companies with more than Rs 5 crores turnover are allowed to file GST returns with a reduced interest rate of 9%.

The FM also relaxed the minimum residency compliance for a company director. “If there is a company director in each company who does not comply with the minimum residency in India which is 182 days at present, under Section 149 it was treated as a violation. It would not be treated as a violation,” she added. 

To avail financial services, Sitharaman asked people to go to banks only when it is absolutely required and encouraged digital transactions.

“Debit cardholders who withdraw cash for free from any bank’s ATM for the next 3 months. Minimum balance charges have also been waived off,” she said.

The FM said that after this compliance announcement, the government will soon announce an economic package too. Though, the minister did not reveal further details.

Earlier, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced the setting up of a task force to look at measures to limit economic hardship caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

He’s also slated to address the nation at 8 pm today on the coronavirus outbreak. In India, there have been at least 492 reported COVID-19 cases.

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