Government considers tax compliance breather




: India could look at offering relaxation on various tax compliances, addressing demands from


for easing up on regulations amid the Covid-19 outbreak.

State tax authorities in Maharashtra and Goa have already granting relaxations for filing value added tax assessments for previous years. The deadline for filing GST returns, which is otherwise set to begin this week, from March 20, is likely to be extended sources told ET.

“All steps would be taken to ease the compliance burden in everyway,” the official said. The GSTR 3B deadline is March 20. Another, official said filing of returns is continuing at normal pace.

Maharashtra’s state tax authority has directed officials to, “wherever possible”, correspond with taxpayers via email, including for documents required for completion of time-bound assessment.

Assessment filing for value-added tax (VAT) for 2015-16 will have to be done on priority, by March 31.

In case a taxpayer wants to comply on priority, the person can do so by phone or email. The authorities have also directed tax officials to “avoid any physical visits to the dealer’s place of business or residence”, adding that compliance from dealers can be taken electronically.

“These instructions may be followed scrupulously in order to prevent, control and curtail the spread and transmission of coronavirus in the state,” a notice issued by state tax authority said.

The Goa state tax authorities have given a three-month extension, till June 30, for filing VAT assessments for 2016-17.

Judicial forums

The Allahabad High Court has deferred till April 6 all recovery proceedings, auctions, demolitions and evictions in Uttar Pradesh, while directing state authorities not to take any coercive action against taxpayers that forces them to approach the courts, in a first such move.

Besides, district magistrates and the administrative authorities have been directed against ordering physical presence of taxpayers for any proceedings for two weeks.

Recovery proceedings by district administration, financial institutions and other administrative bodies have also been deferred for two weeks.

The UP government has been asked to issue circulars to the effect and report compliance within 48 hours.

“These orders have in a way set the precedent. It is now incumbent upon other courts and tax administrations to come up with tax policy measures which can placate the declining financial sentiments of the industry at large,” said Harpreet Singh, Partner at KPMG.

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