Timely, Comprehensive and Robust” – were the words used by Dr. Henk Bekedam, the WHO Representative to India while praising India’s response to the pandemic*. While the entire world is busy taking measures to slow the rate of infection, the outbreak has been viewed as a threat to the global economy triggering one of the worst economic crises.
The Hon’ble Prime Minister has been pragmatic in his approach in controlling the spread of COVID-19 across the nation. However, this being one of the world’s largest lockdown and that of a developing country will require a strong backing from the Government for the economic sepoys of India. Desperate times call for desperate measures. It was only obvious that the relief packages announced by the Government would be followed by corresponding measures for the taxpayer to ensure that the trade and industry does not face a difficult task in managing compliances. These are the key relaxations / relief measures announced with respect to Indirect taxes:
- Extension of due date for filing Form GSTR 3B for May 2020
- Rationalization of rate of interest and late fee for filing of Form GSTR 3B for the tax periods February 2020 to April 2020
- Waiver of late fee for filing of Form GSTR-1 for the period March 2020 to May 2020
- Exemption of Customs duty and health cess on Ventilators, Face Masks,Surgical Masks, Covid-19 testing kits and such other medical supplies
- The restriction of Input Tax Credit availment to 110% of the matched credit available in Form GSTR 2A shall apply cumulatively for the tax periods February 2020 to August 2020 and the return for the tax period September 2020 shall be furnished with such cumulative adjustment of credit
- Extension of due dates to 30 June 2020, for compliances, such as, filing of any appeal, reply or application or furnishing of any report, document, return, statement or
- such other record with the department which falls due between 20 March 2020 to 29 June 2020
- Extension of due dates to 30 June 2020, for completion of any proceeding or passing of any order or issue of any notice, intimation, notification, sanction or approval or such other action which falls between 20 March 2020 to 29 June 2020
- Expediting release of pending GST and Customs refunds While health related measures like implementation of an unprecedented lockdown are very much a necessity, economic measures to prevent irretrievable recession are also of equal importance. ‘Normal’ has changed and we will have to blend with the ‘New Normal’.
- (The writer is Senior Manager, Ernst & Young LLP, with inputs from Mr. Rakesh Goel, Senior Consultant, Ernst & Young LLP. Views expressed are personal. *Source – https://news.un.org )