The Centre on Tuesday promulgated an ordinance to extend the last date for filing income tax, goods and services tax, customs and central excise returns amid the coronavirus pandemic and the countrywide lockdown imposed to contain it. President Ram Nath Kovind gave assent to The Taxation and Other Laws (Relaxation of Certain Provisions) Ordinance, 2020, on Tuesday.

Due to the escalating coronavirus crisis, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on March 24 had announced the easing of various compliance and statutory requirements for filing tax returns. In this regard, the finance ministry made announcements related to income tax-related matters, compliance and deadlines related to the GST, customs and central excise-related compliance and regulations, among others.

Under this, the last date for filing income tax returns for the financial year of 2018-’19 as well as that for linking PAN with biometric identity Aadhaar has been extended by three months to June 30. The Centre also extended the last date of furnishing of the central excise returns due for the month of March, April and May to the same date.

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The ordinance also amended a provision in the Income Tax Act to allow 100% deduction on donations made to the Prime Minister’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations, or PM-CARES, fund. The fund has been set up to provide relief to those affected in emergency situations such as the coronavirus pandemic.

The ordinance said that as the date for claiming deduction under Section 80G of the Income Tax Act has been extended up to June 30, the donation made up to June 30 shall also be eligible for deduction from income of 2019-’20.

The government also extended the last date for passing of order or notices by authorities under various direct taxes and the Benami law to June 30.