Extension of time limits under Benami and Taxation Acts


The government issued an ordinance Tuesday to bring into effect compliance relief measures for taxpayers in the wake of Covid 19 that were announced by the finance ministry last week. The ordinance also allowed for 100% exemption of donations made to PM Cares fund, set up to aid containment and relief efforts against the virus outbreak.

“In order to give effect to relief measures relating to statutory and regulatory compliance matters across sectors in view of COVID-19 outbreak, the government has brought in an Ordinance on March 31, which provides for extension of various time limits under the Taxation and Benami Acts,” the finance ministry said in a statement.

Extension of several time limits related to direct and indirect tax filings have been extended to June 30, so has the date for passing of order or issuance of notice by tax authorities under various direct taxes and Benami Law.

“Donation made up to June 30 to the PM CARES Fund shall be eligible for 100% deduction under section 80G of the IT Act from income of FY 2019-20,” the government clarified, adding that the limit on deduction of 10% of gross income shall also not be applicable for such donations.

Further, individuals and corporates paying concessional tax on income of FY 2020-21 under new regime can make donation to PM Cares Fund till June 30, and can claim deduction under section 80G against income of FY 2019-20. “(Taxpayer) shall also not lose his eligibility to pay tax in concessional taxation regime for income of FY 2020-21,” the government clarified.

Direct tax relaxations

The government clarified that taxpayers can make investments or payments in LIC, Public Provident Fund and National Savings Certificates under Section 80C, medi-claim under Section 80D and donations under 80G till June 30, for claiming deductions for FY 2019-20.

Also, investment, construction or purchase made up to June 30, shall be eligible for claiming deduction from capital gains under sections 54 to 54GB of the IT Act, arising in FY 2019-20.

The last date of filing of original as well as revised income-tax returns for the FY 2018-19 has been extended till June 30, 2020. Aadhaar-PAN linking last date has been pushed to June 30, from March 31.

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 June 30, for the units which received necessary approval by March 31, 2020.

Further, reduced rate of interest of 9% shall be charged for non-payment of income-tax, including advance tax, tax deducted at source, tax collected at source, equalization levy, Commodities Transaction Tax (CTT) which are due for payment from March 20 till June 29, if they are paid by June 30.

Further, no penalty or prosecution shall be initiated for these non-payments.

Taxpayers can also avail the Vivad se Vishwas Scheme till June 30, without additional payment of 10% for settling outstanding tax disputes.

Indirect Tax relaxations

The government notified June 30 as the last date for furnishing of central excise returns due in March, April and May 2020, and extended the last date of filing appeal, refund applications etc under the Central Excise Act, for which the time was otherwise limited to March 20 and June 29. The deadline for filing appeal related to service tax has been given a similar relaxation, till June 30.

Taxpayers can avail the Sabka Vishwas Legal Dispute Resolution Scheme 2019 till June 30, giving more time to settle their indirect tax disputes.

In addition to extension of time limits under the Taxation and Benami Acts, the government has enabled itself by amending the CGST Act, 2017, to extend due dates for various compliances including statement of outward supplies, filing refund claims, filing appeals, among others, on recommendations of the GST Council.


Source: Economic Times




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