Relaxations for Compliances under Indirect Tax Laws

In view of the nation-wide lockdown on account of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government of India has issued various notifications to ensure compliances by embracing accessible technology and extending time limits for specified compliances.

Key relaxations provided by way of the notifications are summarised below:

1. GST returns can be furnished through electronic verification code (‘EVC’) – Notification No. 38/2020-Central Tax dated May 5, 2020

  • This notification amends Rule 26(1) of Central Goods and Services Tax Rules, 2017 (‘CGST Rules’), to allow a GST-registered person, registered under the Companies Act, 2013 to, during the period April 21, 2020 to June 20, 2020, furnish returns in Form GSTR 3B, which can be authenticated using an EVC sent to the registered mobile number. Such facility is made effective from April 21, 2020.

  • For an assessee who is required to furnish a Nil return in Form GSTR 3B, a new Rule 67A has been inserted in the CGST Rules, to allow furnishing of such return for a tax period through short messaging service (‘SMS’), verified by a registered mobile number-based one-time password (‘OTP’) facility. Such facility will be made effective from a date to be notified later.

2. Amendment of notification issued in relation to GST compliance by corporate debtors under Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 – Notification No. 39/2020-Central Tax dated May 5, 2020

  • Time limit for interim resolution professionals (IRP) or resolution professionals (RP) to obtain new registration as a distinct person of the corporate debtor, has been amended to be 30 days from date of appointment of IRP/ RP or June 30, 2020, whichever is later (effective from March 21, 2020).

  • The class of persons covered under Notification No. 11/2020-Central Tax dated March 21, 2020 will not include corporate debtors who have furnished the GST returns for all tax periods prior to appointment of IRP/RP.

3. Extension of validity of e-way bills – Notification No. 40/2020-Central Tax dated May 5, 2020

  • The validity of e-way bills generated prior to March 24, 2020, and expiring during the period March 20, 2020 to April 15, 2020, has been extended till May 31, 2020.

4. Extension of time limit for filing annual return for FY 2018-19 – Notification No. 41/2020-Central Tax dated May 5, 2020

  • The time limit for furnishing annual returns in Form GSTR 9 and Form GSTR 9C for FY 2018-19 has been extended till September 30, 2020.

5. Due dates for filing return in Form GSTR 3B for the Union territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh – Notification No. 42/2020-Central Tax dated May 5, 2020

  • The said notification amends the due date for filing of return in Form GSTR 3B for registered persons whose principal place of business is in the Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh as follows:

This notification is effective from March 24, 2020.

6. Extension of time limit for filing acknowledgement of declaration under Himachal Pradesh (Legacy Cases Resolution) Scheme, 2019 – Notification No. EXN-F-(10)-7/2019- Vol.-I dated April 27, 2020

  • On account of complete lockdown in the country due to COVID-19 pandemic, the time limit for filing acknowledgement of declaration as per the provisions of Himachal Pradesh (Legacy Cases Resolution) Scheme, 2019 has been extended till September 30, 2020.
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