Contactless Payments to GST Returns: What Rules Change From 1 Jan?

A number of rules is all set to change from Friday, 1 January 2021. Here’s all you need to know about it.

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New consumer and business rules from 1 January 2021: From UPI Payments to GST sales returns, which rules are set to change?
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New year, new rules.

From cashless contact payments to Goods and Services Tax (GST) filing to mandatory FASTag, a number of rules is all set to change from Friday, 1 January 2021.

Here’s all you need to know.

1. Contactless Card Transaction Limit

The Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) directive on increasing the limit of contactless card transactions will come into force from 1 January. The RBI had earlier increased the limit from Rs 2,000 to Rs 5,000 in order to boost the adoption of digital payments.

2. Mandatory FASTag

The Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways had earlier made FASTag mandatory for all four-wheel vehicles from 1 January 2021. However, on 31 December, the government announced deferment of the order to 15 February.

FASTag will be required for new vehicles as well as vehicles sold after 1 December, 2017. It will also be mandatory to keep a minimum of Rs 150 in your FASTag account.

3. Updated Driving Licence Must

Those without a valid driving licence will attract a penalty of Rs 5,000 as per the amended Motor Vehicles (MV) Act. The exemption on this rule will be lifted on 1 January.

4. GST-Registered Small Businesses

Those small businesses with a turnover of up to Rs 5 crore will be required to file only four GST sales returns, or GSTR-3B, instead of 12 (as of 2020) from January 2021. This would impact about 94 lakh taxpayers, i.e. about 92 percent of the entire GST tax base, PTI reported.

5. WhatsApp To Stop Working on Some Phones

With 2020, WhatsApp support for some Android and iPhones will also come to an end. As per reports, WhatsApp will not be available on devices that are not running iOS 9 or Android 4.0.3 operating systems starting 1 January 2021.

6. Landline To Mobile Phone Calls

While calling mobile phones from landlines, you will be required to prefix '0'. This will be applicable across India. The telecom department has been asked to prepare the required infrastructure by 1 January to implement the new system effectively.

7. Saral Life Insurance Policy

The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) has directed all insurance companies to introduce 'Saral Life Insurance Policy' from 1 January. The new policy assures a minimum sum of Rs 5 lakh and a maximum of Rs 25 lakh.

The insurance policy enables the buyer to purchase a term plan at a lower premium and the terms and conditions of all insurance companies will be the same for this policy.

8. Cars To Become More Expensive

Car market leader Maruti Suzuki India and home grown Mahindra and Mahindra (M&M) and MG Motor India will increase prices of its vehicles from 1 January to offset the adverse impact of rising input costs – in the light of COVID-19 pandemic.

M&M's Farm Equipment Sector said, effective 1 January, it will increase the price of its range of tractors, across models, reported PTI.

9. Mutual Fund Investment

The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has made some changes to the mutual funds rules, raising the investment limit in equity to 75 percent from 1 January. Earlier, the investment limit in equity was 65 percent.

(Correction: An earlier version of the article incorrectly stated based on media reports that NPCI has decided to levy an additional charge on third-party UPI payment services. NPCI has refuted the reports. The error is regretted.)

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