Nirmala Sitharaman’s Top Announcements On COVID-19 Relief Measures

Finance Minister's Top 10 Announcements On Relief Steps Over Coronavirus

Nirmala Sitharaman announced many reliefs for taxpayers as the country entered a second day of lockdown

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced a slew of relief measures for taxpayers and businesses as the country entered a second day of lockdown. Announcing a relaxation in the due dates for filing of certain returns of income tax as well as Goods and Services Tax (GST), the Finance Minister said the government is already working on an economic package to aid the country’s fight against the rapid spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Briefing the media through video conferencing, the Finance Minister said debit card holders will be able to withdraw cash from ATMs of home as well as other banks without any charges for next three months.

Here are 10 big announcements for taxpayers and businesses:

  1. The government raised the threshold for default under Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) by ten times to to Rs 1 crore. Currently, the threshold of triggering insolvency cases stands at Rs 1 lakh.

  2. The government extended the last date for filing income tax returns for financial year 2018-19 to June 30.

  3. It lowered the interest rate applicable to delayed returns to 9 per cent from 12 per cent.

  4. Debit card holders will be able to withdraw cash from ATMs of any bank free of charge for next three months, the Finance Minister said.

  5. The government extended tax dispute resolution scheme “Vivad Se Vishwas” by three months, also to June 30, and also said those availing the scheme will not have to pay the 10 per cent interest on principal as mandated under existing rules.

  6. She also announced an extension in the due date for mandatory linking of Aadhaar with PAN from March 31 to June 30. 

  7. It also extended the due date for companies required to file Goods and Services Tax (GST) returns to June 30 for the months of March, April and May.

  8. The Finance Minister said companies with turnover up to Rs 5 crore will not have to pay interest, penalty or late fee for filing delayed returns.

  9. The government relaxed the requirement for companies to conduct board meetings for next two quarters. “If no board meeting is held for 2019-20, it will not be considered a violation,” the Finance Minister said. 

  10. Today’s moves are under the special task-force constituted by government recently to tackle the coronavirus outbreak, the Finance Minister said.


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