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6 May 2020
Government implements additional relief measures against the backdrop of COVID-19 pandemic
 
With extended lockdown in place and a difficult situation prevalent on account of COVID-19, the government has brought in additional relief measures to ease the GST compliance burden on businesses. We have captured the key measures hereunder.
 
Ease in procedural aspects of filing GSTR-3B
The government vide Notification No. 38/2020-Central Tax dated 5 May 2020 has brought in following amendments to the Central Goods and Services Tax (CGST) Rules, 2017, to ease procedural aspects involved in filing GSTR-3B.
  • Rule 26 has been amended to allow a business registered under the Companies Act, 2017, to file its GSTR-3B during the period from 21 April 2020 to 30 June 2020 by authenticating it through Electronic Verification Code (EVC). Such businesses are otherwise required to authenticate GSTR-3B compulsorily using a Digital Signature Certificate (DSC).
  • Rule 67A has been inserted to provide all registered businesses a facility to file NIL GSTR-3B by sending an SMS through the registered mobile number.
Extension in the validity of the e-way bill
The government vide Notification No. 40/2020 dated 5 May 2020 has further extended the validity of the e-way bill to 31 May 2020, which were generated on or before 24 March 2020, and expiring during the period 20 March 2020 to 15 April 2020. Earlier, the government had provided such an extension till 30 April 2020.
 
GST annual return due date for FY 2018-19 extended
The government vide Notification No. 41/2020-Central Tax dated 5 May 2020 has further extended the due date of filing the annual return (GSTR-9) and reconciliation statement/GST audit (GSTR-9C) to 30 September 2020. Earlier, the government had extended the due date till 30 June 2020.
 
Changes to the registration procedure of corporate debtors
Earlier, the government vide Notification No. 11/2020-Central Tax dated 21 March 2020 had announced a special procedure for registration of erstwhile registered persons, who are corporate debtors under the provisions of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016. Now, vide Notification No. 39/2020-Central Tax dated 5 May 2020, following amendments have been introduced to the said registration process:
  • Corporate debtors who have filed all their GST returns prior to the appointment of resolution professional have been excluded from the applicability of the said special registration procedure.
  • The time limit to obtain registration has been amended to 30 June 2020, or 30 days from the date of appointment of resolution professional, whichever is later. 
Extension in GSTR-3B due dates for Ladakh
The government vide Notification No. 42/2020-Central Tax dated 5 May 2020 has extended the due dates for filing GSTR-3B for the period of January 2020 to March 2020 to 20 May 2020, for businesses having their principal place of business in the Union Territory of Ladakh.
Our Comments
The nation-wide lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in massive disruption of business. In light of such a challenging scenario, the government has been proactive in implementing relief measures to ease the GST compliance burden on businesses.
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