FM eases rules for bank customers, taxpayers, firms

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NEW DELHI: Finance minister

Nirmala Sitharaman

on Tuesday announced easier compliance norms for companies required to file under income tax, GST, customs and corporate laws, while allowing bank customers the flexibility to use their debit cards at ATMs without any fee, and waived the penalty for those who are unable to maintain the stipulated minimum balance in their accounts.

The minister also said IBC provisions may be waived in case the

coronavirus

crisis persisted till beyond April. The announcements, which are a precursor to the much-anticipated economic package to aid industry and individuals facing income uncertainty, offer concessions of filings for a limited period and are not permanent.

Sitharaman — who assured 24×7 customs facilities for exporters and importers — made it clear that the idea was to ensure that people stayed in lockdown and took care of their families instead of exposing themselves to the deadly virus by venturing out to be “honest taxpayers”. As a result, the GST filing deadline for three months, starting February, has been deferred until June 30. Besides, companies with an annual turnover of up to Rs 5 crore do not have to worry about paying any late fee or interest.

In case of the larger entities, the penal interest has been halved to 9%. On the income tax front, the last date for filing returns for the financial year 2018-19 has been extended from March 31, 2020 to June 30, 2020, which is also the new deadline for linking Aadhaar with PAN. But it will benefit only a small section of the population as the bulk of the returns have already been filed.

There was a bigger gain for those looking to settle their direct tax disputes via the Vivad Se Vishwas scheme. Instead of the the March 31 deadline, no additional 10% amount will be levied if the payment is made by the end of June 30, the FM said. On the indirect tax side too, the payment deadline under the Sabka Vishwas scheme has been extended until the end of June and no interest will be levied. The move was welcomed by the industry, which had been pitching for the concessions as they were finding it tough to comply with the norms due to a majority of employees working from home.

In Video:

Free ATM withdrawals for next 3 months, no minimum balance required: FM Nirmala Sitharaman

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