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Finance Ministry Considers Adjustment to 45-Day Payment Rule for MSMEs

Last updated: 29 February 2024

The Finance Ministry is deliberating over potential adjustments to a newly proposed income tax rule requiring business enterprises to settle payments to micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) within 45 days. This consideration follows appeals from various sectors of the business community, with some advocating for a deferment of the provision by a full financial year and others requesting an extension of the 45-day timeframe.

Analysis of Proposal

Sources familiar with the matter revealed that the department of revenue is currently assessing the feasibility of accommodating the proposed changes. While the new rule is slated to take effect from April 1, 2024, numerous businesses are advocating for its postponement to April 1, 2025, citing concerns regarding its potential impact on their operations.

Finance Ministry Considers Adjustment to 45-Day Payment Rule for MSMEs

Industry Concerns and Rationale

The proposal has triggered apprehensions across various segments of the MSME sector, particularly among entities such as those in the textile industry. There are concerns that the mandated 45-day payment window could disrupt existing credit-based relationships between MSMEs, suppliers, and buyers. Additionally, some businesses express reservations about their preparedness to comply with the stipulated timeframe, underscoring the need for adequate readiness measures.

Background and Regulatory Framework

In a bid to foster prompt payments to micro and small enterprises, the Finance Act 2023 introduced a new clause in the Income Tax Act, stipulating that payments to MSMEs beyond the specified 45-day limit outlined in the MSME Development Act 2006 would only be deductible upon actual payment. Failure to adhere to the prescribed timeframe would subject buyers to taxation on the outstanding payments.

Industry Advocacy and Calls for Deferral

The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) recently petitioned Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, urging the suspension of the rule's implementation until comprehensive clarification and dissemination of information are achieved nationwide. CAIT further proposed extending the law's implementation deadline to April 1, 2025, providing traders with a one-year deferral period to mitigate potential adverse effects on MSME businesses.


As stakeholders await the finance ministry's decision, the ongoing deliberations underscore the importance of striking a balance between regulatory compliance and addressing industry concerns to ensure the smooth functioning of MSMEs within the broader economic landscape. The outcome of these discussions will likely shape the regulatory framework governing MSME payments and influence business dynamics in the coming fiscal year.

Category Income Tax   Report



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