Vistra Insights

Vistra India Update 399

May 1st 2020 - May 15th 2020


1.    Clarification in respect of Residential Status u/s 6 of Income Tax Act, 1961 - 

The CBDT has relaxed provisions of section 6 for Individuals who had come on visit to India during PY 2019-20 and couldn’t leave, by March 31, 2020, due to COVID-19 outbreak in India. The board has clarified that the period of stay in India from 22-03-2020 to 31-03-2020 shall not be taken into account. Further, those who had been quarantine in India, the period of such quarantine days shall be excluded.

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2.    Donation To Shri Ram Janmabhoomi to be allowed u/s 80G of Income Tax Act, 1961 – 

In the exercise of the powers conferred by clause (b) of sub-section (2) of section 80G of the Income-tax Act, 1961 (43 of 1961), the Central Government hereby notifies “SHRI RAM JANMABHOOMI TEERTH KSHETRA” (PAN: AAZTS6197B) to be place of historic importance and a place of public worship of renown for the purposes of the said section from the year F.Y. 2020-2021, relevant to the Assessment Year 2021-2022.

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3.    CBDT notifies reduced rate of TDS / TCS Wef 14 May 2020 – 

The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has notified the reduced rate of TDS and TCS for the period from 14-05-2020 to 31-03-2021. 

Note 1 – 

•    This is applicable If payment is made to Resident during the period 14 May 2020 to 31 May 2020 based on Payment or credit – whichever is earlier.
•    Rate of Tax would be same Where tax is deductible from salary under Section 192 or Section 192A respectively.
•    Rate of Tax would be same Where a resident person does not furnish his PAN or Aadhaar and the tax is deductible at a higher rate under Section 206AA or Section 206CC, as the case may be.
•    If payment is made to Non – Resident, normal tax rate would be applicable.
•    IN TCS part, pt no 4, reduced rate would be 0.075%.

Note 2 – 

The press release issued by the CBDT hasn’t mentioned the reduced rate of TDS and TCS in case of a few categories. Like, reduced TCS rate in case of sale of ‘alcoholic liquor for human consumption’, sale of overseas tour package, reduced TDS rate in case of cash withdrawal, etc.

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4.    New Procedure For Registration / Approval U/S 10(23c), 12AA, 35 & 80G Deferred To 31-10-2020

The CBDT has decided to defer the implementation of new procedure for approval/ registration/notification of certain entities to 1st October 2020. Now, they be required to file intimation within three months from 1st October 2020, i.e; by 31st December 2020. The Finance Act, 2020 has rationalized the procedure relating to approval / registration/notification referred to in sections 10(23C), 12AA, 35 and 80G w.e.f. 1st June 2020.

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5.    Other announcements in press release – 

•    Due date of all Income-tax return for the Financial Year 2019-20 will be extended from July 31, 2020 and October 31, 2020 to November 30, 2020.
•    The due date for tax audit under section 44AB shall be extended from September 30, 2020 to October 31, 2020.
•    The last date for opting Vivad se Vishwas Scheme without paying additional 10% of the disputed tax shall be extended till December 31, 2020.
•    Due date of 30-09-2020 for completion of assessments shall be extended to 31-12-2020. Where assessments are getting barred on 31-03-2021, it shall be extended to 30-09- 2021.

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6.    Clarification on holding AGM through Video conference or other audio visual means

Given the restrictions on the movement of persons in the country on account of COVID-19 outbreak, Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) issued clarification that the AGM can be held through video or other audio visual means during calendar year 2020 subject to fulfilment of certain requirements. 

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7.    Clarification on dispatch of notice by listed companies for rights issue opening up to 31st July 2020

In view of the prevailing situation on account of outbreak of COVID-19, Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) has clarified that for rights issue opening up to 31st July, 2020, in case of listed Companies, which comply with the SEBI circular dated 6th May, 2020, inability to dispatch the notices to their shareholders through registered post, or speed post or courier would not be considered as violation. 

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8.    Notification No. 41/2020 – Central Tax dated 5th May 2020
The Last Date for filing of Annual Returns for the financial year 2018 – 2019 is 30th September 2020.

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9.    Notification No. 38/2020 – Central Tax dated 5th May 2020

The registered person registered under the provisions of the Companies Act, 2013 (18 of 2013) is allowed to furnish the return under section 39 in FORM GSTR-3B verified through electronic verification code (EVC) during the period from the 21st day of April, 2020 to the 30th day of June, 2020.

Registered person will be allowed to file Nil GSTR-3B through a short messaging service using the registered mobile number and Nil GSTR-3B shall be verified by a registered mobile number using on One Time Password facility.

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10.    Publishing of rate of exchange for conversion of the foreign currency

The Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) vide Notification No. 41/2020 - Customs (N.T.) notified the rate of exchange for conversion of the foreign currency into Indian currency or vice versa for Export and Import of goods, with effect from 7th May 2020.

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11.    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) released by Employees Provident Fund Organization (EPFO) with respect to filing Of Electronic Return Cum-Challan(ECR) and payment of Provident Fund contributions.

As per the earlier notification, the Ministry of Labor & Employment has informed about the EPFO making filing of ECR easier for businesses. The ECR from March 2020 onwards be filed by an employer without the need of simultaneous payment of contributions and contributions may be paid later by the employer after filing the ECR. The above change will entail convenience to the employers as well as the employees covered under the Act and schemes. In this regard, EPFO has further released an FAQ to employers by addressing various scenarios. 

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12.    Registration of Digital Signature Certificate (DSC)/e-Sign of Authorized Signatories in Employees Provident Fund Organization (EPFO) portal

Employees Provident Fund Organization (EPFO) vide its press note dated 6 May 2020, keeping in view the COVID situation and to further ease the compliance procedure has decided to accept Know Your Customer (KYC) attestation, transfer claim attestation through email also. An employer can send the scanned copy of the duly signed request letter to the concerned Regional Office through the mail. Official email addresses of the Regional Offices are available at 

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13.    No levy of Penalty for delayed deposit of Provident Fund contributions during Lockdown to prevent COVID-19

Considering the difficulty faced by the establishments in the timely deposit of provident fund contributions or administrative charges due for any period during the lockdown, Employee Provident Fund Organization (EPFO) has issued a circular dated 15 May 2020  stating that that such delays due to operational or economic reasons shall not be treated as default and penal damages should not be levied for such delay. 

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