The Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman announced relief measures for SMEs in view of the COVID-19 outbreak, in the areas of Income Tax, GST, Customs, Corporate Affairs, the Banking Sector and Commerce.

Income Tax

  • Last date for IT returns extended from Mar 31, 2020 to Jun 30, 2020.
  • PAN and Aadhaar linking date has been extended from Mar 31, 2020 to Jun 30, 2020.
  • No additional 10% penalty, if the payment of the Direct Tax under Vivad se Vishwas scheme is made by June 30, 2020.
  • Due dates for notices, intimations, approval or sanction orders, investments in saving instruments, investments for rollover benefit of capital gains under Income Tax Act,  Wealth Tax Act, Black Money Act,  Prohibition of Benami Property Transaction Act, CTT Law, Equalization Levy Law, STT Law, Vivad Se Vishwas Scheme, where the time frame is expiring between Mar 20 to Jun 29, 2020 to be extended to Jun 30, 2020.
  • Interest rate on delayed payments made for advanced tax, TDS, self-assessment tax, TCS, STT, CTT between Mar 20 and Jun 30, 2020 to be reduced from 12% to 9%. Also, no penalty or late fee will be charged for delay during this period.
  • Pending income tax refunds up to ₹5,00,000 to be issued.

GST

  • No late fee, interest or penalty to be charged from companies having annual turnover less than ₹5 crore if they file return by Jun 30, 2020. Companies with turnover more than ₹5 crore will incur interest at 9% per annum instead of 18%.
  • Date for filing GST annual returns extended till the last week of Jun 2020.
  • Due date for issue of notice or approval/sanction order, filing of appeal, submitting return, or any other GST compliant document where the time limit is expiring between Mar 2020 and Jun 29, 2020 has been extended to Jun 30, 2020.
  • Payment date under Sabka Vishwas Scheme has been extended to Jun 30, 2020.
  • Pending refunds for goods and services tax (GST) and customs to benefit 100,000 businesses.

Customs

  • 24X7 custom clearance till the end of Jun 2020.
  • Due date for issue of notice, approval/sanction order, submitting applications or reports, or any documents compliant with the Customs Act expiring between Mar 20 and Jun 29, has been extended till Jun 30, 2020.
  • Pending refunds for customs along with income tax, goods and services tax (GST) worth ₹18,000 crore to be issued.

Financial Services

  • For the next 3 months, debit cardholders can withdraw cash from any other banks’ ATM for free.
  • Minimum balance requirement fee is waived of.
  • Digital charges for trade transactions have been reduced.
  • For MSMEs, the FM urged banks to increase public lending.
  • The moratorium on payment of loan instalments for the next 3 months will not affect the credit rating.
  • Interest on working capital deferred for 3 months will support businesses meet their immediate needs.
  • RBI has enhanced state government’s short-term liquidity needs and increased WMA limit by 30% for all States/UTs.
  • RBI has relaxed export repatriation limits from nine months to 15 months.
  • SBI announced an emergency credit line to meet any liquidity mismatch for its borrowers, along with the additional liquidity facility COVID-19 Emergency Credit Line (CECL) wherein funds up to ₹200 crore will be available till June 30.
  • Oriental Bank of Commerce under the COVID19 Emergency Credit Facility will help SMEs meet temporary liquidity requirement.
  • United Bank of India launched UBI COVID-19 Emergency Credit Facility for its existing MSME, agriculture and other business segment borrowers.
  • SIDBI to provide collateral-free loans up to Rs 50 lakh to MSEs manufacturing medical supplies under its SIDBI Assistance to Facilitate Emergency (SAFE) scheme

Corporate Affairs

  • No additional fees shall be charged for late filing of any document, return, statement during a moratorium period from Apr 1 to Sep 30, 2020.
  • Applicability of Companies Auditor’s Report Order will be made applicable from the next financial year instead of 2019-20 as notified earlier. It will ease the burden on companies and their auditors.
  • Newly incorporated companies have been given an additional time of 6 months to file a declaration for Commencement of Business.
  • Non-compliance of minimum residency period of any Director for at least 182 days shall not be treated as a violation.