No Change In Financial Year, Clarifies Government
The North Block of the Central Secretariat building, which houses the Ministries of Finance and Home Affairs, stands in New Delhi, India. (Photographer: Prashanth Vishwanathan/Bloomberg)

No Change In Financial Year, Clarifies Government

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The government has not extended the current 2019-20 fiscal year and it will end as scheduled on March 31, the finance ministry said Monday.

PTI erroneously reported that the new financial year will start from July 1. The news alert and the related story have been withdrawn.

"There is no extension of the financial year," the finance ministry said.

Officials said a gazette notification issued late on Monday evening pertained to date of applicability of stamp duty which has been changed from April 1 to July 1.

Industry has been demanding extension of fiscal year by three months in view of the economic impact caused by outbreak of Covid-19.

The finance ministry in a statement said amendments have been made to the Indian Stamp Act by deferring the effective date of applicability from April 1 to July 1, 2020.

To rationalise and harmonise the system of levying stamp duty and help curb tax evasion, the government had through the Finance Act, 2019, amended the Indian Stamp Act, 1899. Certain changes were to be effective from April 1, 2020.

Through a notification, the revenue department said these amended provisions will come into effect from July 1, 2020.

As part of the amendments, it was decided that the stamp duty rates levied by Maharashtra will be taken as a benchmark as it accounts for 70 percent of the total collection.

It was amended to state that the stamp duty will have to be paid by either the buyer or the seller of a financial security, as against the current practice of levying the duty on both.

"It pertains to putting in place an efficient mechanism for collection of stamp duty on security market instruments transactions through stock exchanges or clearing corporation authorised by stock exchange and depositories," it said. "This change was earlier notified to be implemented from April 1, 2020. However, due to the prevailing situation, it has been decided that the date of implementation will now be postponed to July 1, 2020."

The government in January this year had deferred the effective date of applicability from Jan. 9 to April 1, 2020.

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