New Delhi: The nationwide lockdown, imposed to control the spread of Coronavirus in the country, has made things difficult for people as well as the government. Keeping in view of the hardships faced by taxpayers due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has issued a notification easing the process of issue of certificates for lower rate/nil deduction/collection of TDS or TCS with respect to FY 2020-21.
CBDT said in its notification, Due to the outbreak of the pandemic COVID-19 virus, there is a severe disruption in the normal working of almost all sectors including the functioning of the income tax department. In such a scenario, the applications filed by the payees under section 195 and 197 of the Act for lower or nil rate of deduction of TDS and applications by buyers/ licensees/lessees u/s 206C (9) of the Act for lower or nil rate of collection of TCS for FY 2020-21, have note been attended in a timely manner by the TDS/TCS Assessing Officers, causing hardship to taxpayers.”
The notification further stated that considering the constraints of the Field Officers in disposing of the applications for lower or nil rate of TCS/TDS and to mitigate hardships of payees and buyers, the CBDR has issued some directions/ clarification.
The CBDT directions say:
1. All the assessees who have filed an application for lower or nil deduction of TDS/TCS on the TRACES portal for FY2020-21, and whose applications are pending for disposal as on date and they have been issued such certificated for FY2019-20, then such certificates would be applicable till June 30.2020 of FY 2020-21, or disposal of their applications by the Assessing Officers, whichever is earlier, in respect of the transaction and the deductor or collector if any, for whom the certificate was issued for FY 2019-20.
2. In cases where the assesses could not apply for issue of lower or nil deduction of TDS/TCS in the TRACES portal for FY2020-21, but were having the certificates for FY 2019-20, such certificates will be applicable till June 30.
However, they need to apply at the earliest giving details of the transaction and the Deductor/Collector to the TDS/TCS Assessing Officer as per the procedure.
Last date of filing tax extended to June 30:
Earlier this month, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced several relaxations in view of the lockdown announced to combat the spread of the COVID-19 virus. The FM said the last date for filling delayed income tax return (ITR) for the financial year 2018-19 is extended till June 30, 2020, from March 31 and interest rate for delayed payment of interest has also been reduced to 9% from 12% earlier.
For delayed payments of advanced tax, self-assessment tax, regular tax, TDS, TCS, equalization levy, STT, CTT made between March 20, 2020, and June 30, 2020, the reduced interest rate at 9 per cent instead of 12/18 per cent per annum will be charged for this period
Tax department officers working from home to chase large taxpayers for dues:
It is also worth mentioning that the Income-Tax Department has asked field formations to contact large taxpayers over phone or email to follow up on pending collections. Rakesh Gupta, Commissioner of Income Tax (Coordination & Systems), CBDT asked field formations to submit a daily report on follow-ups on pending tax collections from large taxpayers.