Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has announced a slew of direct tax measures as part of the Covid-19 relief package. PM Modi had earlier promised an economic package that was centered around land, labour, law and liquidity to boost the country’s economy.
The measures announced will give a huge relief to businesses and would play a pivotal role in increasing cash flow as the beneficial rates would be available till the end of the current financial year.

Here are the key measures announced by the finance minister:

TDS/TCS Rate Reduction
1. A 25% reduction in existing rates for tax deducted at source for specified non-salary payments which are made to residents. Rate for tax collection at source for specified receipts has also been reduced by 25%.

2. Payment for transactions like contract, professional fees, interest, rent, dividend, commission, brokerage, will be eligible for reduced TDS rates. This will apply till the end of the financial year.
3.Reduction in rates for TDS and TCS will result in release of liquidity of ₹50,000 crores, as per government estimates.

The tax department would’ve anyway received a lot of applications under Section 197 of the income tax law to permit lower withholding, Deloitte India’s Rohinton Sidhwa said.

Due Dates Extended
1. Due date for all income tax returns for FY2019-20 has been extended from July 31 and Oct. 31 to Nov. 30.
2. Tax audit due date has been extended from Sept. 30 to Oct. 31.
3. Date of assessments getting barred on Sept. 30 has been extended to Dec. 31. Similarly, assessments getting barred on March 31, 2021 are extended till the end of September 2021.
4. Window for making payments under ‘Vivad se Vishwas Scheme’ – a tax dispute resolution mechanism – without any additional amount has been extended till Dec. 31.

And finally, pending income tax refunds to charitable trusts and non-corporate businesses like sole proprietorships, limited liability partnerships and co-operative societies will be issued immediately by the government.


The SC refused to grant interim bail on medical grounds to former Congress leader Sajjan Kumar who is serving life imprisonment in a 1984 anti-Sikh riots case. A bench comprising Chief Justice S A Bobde and Justices Indu Malhotra and Hrishikesh Roy perused his medical report and said that he did not need hospitalization at the moment.

Declining the interim bail plea, the bench, holding proceedings via video conferencing, said that it would hear the regular bail application in July.
Senior advocate Vikas Singh, representing Kumar, said that his client be granted bail as if something happens to him in jail then his life imprisonment would become death penalty for him. Kumar and Balwan Khokhar are serving life imprisonment in Tihar jail in the case after the Delhi High Court convicted them on December 17, 2018.

The riots had broken out after the assassination of then prime minister Indira Gandhi on October 31, 1984 by her two Sikh bodyguards. The high court had also upheld the conviction and varying sentences awarded by the trial court to the other five including Khokhar, retired naval officer Captain Bhagmal, Girdhari Lal and former MLAs Mahender Yadav and Kishan Khokhar. (Image sources: Google)