New Delhi: The Income Tax Department on Tuesday announced a relief for taxpayers in view of the hardships amid the coronavirus pandemic and extended the validity of all lower withholding tax orders by three months till June 30. Also Read - Uttar Pradesh Lockdown Extension News: Complete Shutdown in Ballia District Extended Till July 21

In an official notification, the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) gave a major relief to taxpayers whose application for lower or nil deduction of TDS/TCS is pending for disposal saying that cases where the application is pending and where such certificates were issued for fiscal 2019-20, the validity of the certificates would get extended to June 30, 2020. Also Read - Uttar Pradesh Lockdown Extension News: Complete Shutdown For 3 Days | Know Here What’s Open, What’s Not

The order also prescribes a 10 per cent withholding tax rate on payments to Non-Residents (including foreign companies) having Permanent Establishment in India and not covered by the above scenarios) till June 30 or disposal of application, whichever is earlier.

The announcement comes after a press briefing by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman where she said that the due dates for issuance of notice, sanction order, filing of appeal or return, statements, applications and any other documents will be extended till June 30.

The CBDT said due to the outbreak of COVID-19 there is severe disruption in the normal working of almost all sectors, including functioning of the Income Tax Department.

As a result, individuals do not have to worry about submitting their documents to the tax department during the lockdown period.

With this, the government can ensure continuity of payments to contractors/ service providers, both resident as well as non-resident, where for specific reasons such as character of income, tax treaty benefits, estimated losses, etc, respective taxpayers were authorised to receive payments, either without deduction of taxes or deduction at a lower rates.

With PTI inputs