Govt not considering extending equalisation levy deadline, says companies got enough time

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The government is not considering extending the deadline for payment of Equalisation Levy by non-resident e-commerce players, even though a majority of them are yet to deposit the first installment of the tax, an official said. The 2 percent Equalisation Levy was introduced in the 2020-21 Budget and has come into effect from April 1, 2020. The deadline for payment of first installment of tax for April-June is July 7. The tax would be levied on consideration received by e-commerce operators from the online supply of goods or services.

A government official aware of the development said the government is not considering any extension of the deadline and asserted that the entities liable to pay the levy had ample time to apply for PAN and prepare themselves for the levy. “The scheme was notified in March. The companies liable to pay the levy should have applied for PAN then. When globally digital tax is there to stay, there should be no expectation of a rollback. There would be no extension of the deadline for payment,” the official said.

As per law, late-payment of Equalisation Levy will attract interest at the rate of 1 percent per month or part of the month. Non-payment can result in a penalty equal to the amount of Equalisation Levy, along with above interest. Last week, the Income Tax Department brought in changes to the ‘challan’ for paying Equalisation Levy, by expanding its scope to include non-resident e-commerce players. The amended challan also seeks mandatory PAN of deductor. Further, it provides for the ‘Outside India’ option while seeking address details.

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