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COVID 19- IS A FORCE MEASURE- MOREPRACTICAL APPROACH IS DESIRED WHILE GRANTING RELAXATION ( about GST & CUSTOMS)

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COVID 19- IS A FORCE MEASURE- MOREPRACTICAL APPROACH IS DESIRED WHILE GRANTING RELAXATION ( about GST & CUSTOMS)
By: DEV KUMAR KOTHARI
March 25, 2020
All Articles by: DEV KUMAR KOTHARI       View Profile
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Here in this article  author has  analysed  press release about  relaxations and relief allowed in view of COVID 19 which is in nature of a sever force measure because life, expectancy of life, health, relations, are effected by the crisis. Due to almost complete lock-down of people concerned with such relief for considerable period and likely extensions thereof, financial crisis will have a severe impact in short duration of 3-6 months and significant impact for a medium duration of 2-3 years over finances of all.  For time being many will have to depend on savings and borrowings to manage family affairs also. Therefore, it is wrong to say that relief measures are given, in fact relaxation by allowing 3 extra months is not a relief, it is a necessity for time being.

On the basis of impact shown and felt by economy, industry, business and commerce and also position of employment and inflation and continuing difficulties, further relaxation of time and fiscal relief may be required.

From Press Release:  

Ministry of Finance Finance Minister announces several relief measures relating to Statutory and Regulatory compliance matters across Sectors in view of COVID-19 outbreak

Posted On: 24 MAR 2020 5:10 PM by PIB Delhi

From press release

Observations

 General the Union Finance & Corporate Affairs Minister Smt. Niramla Sitharaman today announced several important relief measures taken by the Government of India in view of COVID-19 outbreak, especially on statutory and regulatory compliance matters related to several sectors.

Relaxation is basically by allowing more time to make compliances. This should not be described as RELIEF.

While addressing the press conference through video conferencing here today, Smt. Sitharaman announced much-needed relief measures in areas of Income Tax, GST, Customs & Central Excise, Corporate Affairs, Insolvency & Bankruptcy Code (IBC) Fisheries, Banking Sector and Commerce.

These cannot properly be called relief measures. The relaxations are in view of force measure- difficult circumstances in which people are placed.  Time is extended for Government Officers and public both equally , therefore, calling it relief is a bit insulting for tax payers.

The Minister of State for Finance & Corporate Affairs Shri Anurag Singh Thakur was also present besides Shri A.B. Pandey, Finance Secretary and Shri Atanu Chakraborty, Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs.

 

Following are the decisions with respect to statutory and regulatory compliance matters related to various sectors: -

 

GST/Indirect Tax:

 

  1. Those having aggregate annual turnover less than ₹ 5 Crore Last date can file  GSTR-3B due in March, April and May 2020  by the last week of  June, 2020. No interest, late fee, and penalty to be charged.

30th June 2020 seems to be  intended- expression “by the last week of June, 2020” is a bit ambiguous.

This is applicable in other paragraphs also.

2. Others can file returns due in March, April and May 2020 by last week of June 2020  but the same would attract reduced rate of interest @9 % per annum from  15 days after due date (current interest rate is  18 % per annum). No late fee and penalty to be charged, if complied before till 30th June 2020.

Uniform last date is not proper, extra time of three months should be allowed.  Levy of interest should be fully waived.

In view of difficult circumstances,

For period beyond due date a no interest period of at least  three months should be allowed. 

3. Date for opting for composition scheme is extended till the last week of   June, 2020.  Further, the last date for making payments for the quarter ending 31st March, 2020 and filing of  return for 2019-20 by the composition dealers  will be extended  till the last week of June, 2020. 

At least two months’ time should be allowed after exercise of option.

4. Date for filing GST annual returns of FY 18-19, which is due on 31st March, 2020 is extended till the last week of  June 2020.

This should be extended till 31.12.2020 to avoid further extensions.

5.Due date for issue of notice, notification, approval order, sanction order, filing of appeal, furnishing of return, statements, applications, reports, any other documents, time limit for any compliance under the GST laws where the time limit is expiring between 20th March 2020  to 29th June 2020 shall be extended to 30th June 2020. 

This should be extended till 31.12.2020 to avoid further extensions.

6. Necessary legal circulars and legislative amendments to give effect  to the aforesaid GST relief shall follow with the approval of GST Council.

 

The GST Council can consider proper relaxation of time period for compliances.

Let us hope for complete and clear amendments and circulars.

7. Payment date under Sabka Vishwas Scheme shall be extended to 30th June, 2020. No interest for this period shall be charged if paid by 30th June, 2020.

 

Customs:

 

  1. 24X7 Custom clearance till end of 30th June, 2020

In view of lock down 24X 7 clearance can be reconsidered and practical timings can be provided so that there is no adverse impact on success of lock down.

9.Due date for issue of notice, notification, approval order, sanction order, filing of appeal, furnishing applications, reports, any other documents etc., time limit for any compliance under the Customs Act and other allied Laws where the time limit is expiring between 20th March 2020  to 29th June 2020 shall be extended to 30th June 2020. 

This is procedural matter, due to health pressure, financial pressure, work pressure, difficulties in working from home because this is a sudden need and not fully arranged by many. Therefore, time should be extended till 31.12.2020.

 

 

By: DEV KUMAR KOTHARI - March 25, 2020

 

 

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