Covid-19: Extension of Time to Perform Statutory Duties

Pursuant to subsection 58(1) of the Temporary Measures for Reducing the Impact of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (Covid-19) Act 2020 (‘Temporary Measures Act’), the Minister of Finance has issued the Temporary Measures for Reducing the Impact of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (Covid-19) (Extension of Time) Order 2021 (‘Order’) on 5 February 2021. The Order is deemed to have come into operation on 18 March 2020.
The Order grants an extension of time until 31 March 2021 for the authorities to perform their statutory duties and obligations under the Acts of Parliament referred to in the Schedule to the Order (‘Relevant Acts’) and any subsidiary legislation made thereunder that could not be performed from 18 March 2020 to 9 June 2020 due to the measures prescribed, made or taken under the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988 to control or prevent the spread of Covid-19. The Relevant Acts are as follows:
  1. Customs Act 1967;
  2. Excise Act 1976;
  3. Goods Vehicle Levy Act 1983;
  4. Free Zones Act 1990;
  5. Countervailing and Anti-Dumping Duties Act 1993;
  6. Windfall Profit Levy Act 1998;
  7. Safeguards Act 2006;
  8. Tourism Tax Act 2017;
  9. Sales Tax Act 2018;
  10. Service Tax Act 2018; and
  11. Departure Levy Act 2019.
It is to be noted that subsection 58(3) of the Temporary Measures Act exempts the relevant authorities from liability for any damages in respect of any failure to perform their statutory duty or obligations within the time stipulated in the Relevant Acts.
It is also interesting to note that a conspicuous omission from the list of the Relevant Acts, which are those that come within the purview of the Minister of Finance, is the Income Tax Act 1967.
Alert prepared by Phua Pao Yii (Partner) of the Corporate Practice of Skrine