In order to give effect to the announcements made by Nirmala Sitharaman, Minister of Finance, regarding the relief measures relating to statutory and regulatory compliance matters across sectors in view of COVID-19 outbreak, the GoI has brought in an ordinance on Tuesday which provides for the extension of various time limits under the Taxation and Benami Acts.

It also provides for the extension of time limits contained in the Rules or Notification which are prescribed/ issued under these Acts.

This is one of the measures taken to provide relief to the people since the outbreak of Novel Corona Virus (COVID-19), termed as a pandemic by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Keeping in view the challenges faced by taxpayers in meeting the compliance requirements under such conditions, the Union Finance Minister had announced several relief measures relating to statutory and regulatory compliance matters across sectors in view of COVID-19 outbreak on 24 March.

Some of the important features and time limits which get extended by this Ordinance are as under:

Direct Taxes & Benami:

Extension of the last date of filing of original as well as revised income-tax returns for the FY 2018-19 (AY 2019-20) to 30th June 2020.

Extension of Aadhaar-PAN linking date to 30th June 2020.

The date for making various investment/payment for claiming deduction under Chapter-VIA-B of IT Act which includes Section 80C (LIC, PPF, NSC etc.), 80D (Mediclaim), 80G (Donations), etc. has been extended to 30 June 2020. Hence, the investment/payment can be made up to 30 June 2020 for claiming the deduction under these sections for FY 2019-20.

The date for making investment/construction/purchase for claiming rollover benefit/deduction in respect of capital gains has also been extended to 30 June. The date for commencement of operation for the SEZ units for claiming deduction under deduction 10AA of the IT Act has also been extended to 30 June for the units which received necessary approval by 31.03.2020.

Indirect Taxes:

The last date of furnishing of the Central Excise returns due in March, April and May 2020 has been extended to 30 June 2020.

In addition to the extension of time limits under the Taxation and Benami Acts as above, an enabling section has got inserted in the CGST Act, 2017 empowering the Government to extend due dates for various compliances inter-alia including the statement of outward supplies, filing refund claims, filing appeals, etc. specified, prescribed or notified under the Act, on recommendations of the GST Council.

PM CARES FUND

The Ordinance also amended the provisions of the Income-tax Act to provide the same tax treatment to PM CARES Fund as available to Prime Minister National Relief Fund. Therefore, the donation made to the PM CARES Fund shall be eligible for 100% deduction under section 80G of the IT Act.