Cheque, Digital Payments, GST Rules Are Changing From January 1: 10 Biggest Changes You Should Know

Top 10 changes in many rules mandatory for every common man to learn, implemented from January 1, 2021.
Top 10 changes in many rules mandatory for every common man to learn, implemented from January 1, 2021.

With 2020 nearing to an end, everyone is looking forward to welcoming the new year, especially after how tragic and eventful this year has been to a plethora of lives and businesses.

Speaking of the new upcoming year 2021, a lot of changes having the potential to directly affect the common man’s life are awaiting, with only a small window of about 12 days left.

So before you enter the new year, here are 10 rules which are going to change from January 1, 2021.

Let’s get into details.

#1.  New Cheque Payments Rule

Some time back, the Reserve Bank of India introduced the ‘positive pay system’ for cheque payments w.e.f. January 1, 2021.

As per this new cheque payment rule, the re-confirmation of key details may be needed for payments beyond Rs 50,000. 

The changes were made to keep a check on consumer safety and lower the number of fraud and abuse cases emerging from cheque payment.

As of now, the availing of this facility is at the discretion of the account holder. However, banks may consider making it mandatory in case of cheques for amounts of Rs 5,00,000 and above.

#2. Increase in Contactless Card Transactions Limit

Another announcement that comes from RBI to be implemented next year, is the increase in the limit to withdraw money through contactless card transactions.

Effective from January 1, 2021, this limit has been increased to Rs. 5000 from  Rs. 2000.

This move is expected to boost the adoption of digital cardless transactions. As per reports, the same has already been done for e-mandates for recurring transactions through cards and the Unified Payment Interface (UPI).

RBI has stated that contactless card transactions and e-mandates on cards and UPI for the recurring transactions have improved the entire experience for customers and improved their convenience.

#3. WhatsApp to Discontinue Services on Outdated-Platform Phones

The popular messaging app WhatsApp has announced to discontinue its support from certain Android phones and iPhones, from January 1, 2021.

WhatsApp’s support page suggests its enamours user base to go for the latest version of their operating system to enjoy all the features.

The Facebook-owned instant messaging platform has announced to discontinue its application for these outdated operating systems:

  • Phones running on Android versions before 4.0.3., and
  • iPhones running on iOS versions before iOS 9.

You can simply verify for your iPhone by checking Settings > General > Information, where you will find information about the software version. Android users can go to Settings > About Phone to see the Android versions their smartphones are running on.

#4. Car Prices to Rise

In order to offset the adverse impact of increasing input costs, the automobile manufacturers Maruti Suzuki India and Mahindra and Mahindra have announced to increase the prices of their vehicles from January 1.

#5. Additional Prefix for Landline to Mobile Calls

After confirmation from the Department of Telecommunications (DoT), from January 15, callers will be required to add the “0” prefix for making any calls from landlines to mobile phones in India.

The ministry also stated,  “A total of approximately 2,539 million numbering series is expected to be generated from the above. This will free up sufficient numbering resources for future use.”

The decision has been made to free up sufficient numbering resources for any future use.

#6. Mandatory FASTag for All Four-Wheelers

As per a notification  issued by The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH), all four-wheelers on Indian roads will mandatorily need to have FASTags from January 1, 2021.

The Ministry has also added, “making FASTag mandatory to be available by January 1, 2021 in old vehicles also i.e. M and N category of motor vehicles (four wheelers) sold before December 1, 2017 through amendments in CMVR, 1989?.

Govt of India has also made FASTags mandatory for getting fitness certificate of the car, as well as getting 3rd party insurance.

#7. Additional Charge Imposed on UPI Payment 

The National Payments Council of India (NPCI) has reportedly decided to impose an additional charge on UPI payment services, for third party app providers like Amazon Pay, Google Pay and Phone Pay, w.e.f. January 1.

The payments organisation has imposed a 30% cap on such third party apps starting from 2021.

#8. Google Pay Web App to Terminate

Google is all set to cease the working of its money transfer web application from January 2021. To transfer or receive money through google pay, users will now have to rely only on the mobile phone application.

Currently, users can manage their payments on Google Pay using its mobile application, or from pay.google.com.

However, the Google Pay web app now reads, 

Starting early in 2021, you won’t be able to use pay.google.com to send and receive money from other people. To send and receive money, use the new Google Pay app.”

Along with the web app, the older version of the mobile app will also terminate its working. Although money transfer is still going to be allowed on the mobile app, Gpay will charge additional fees on instant transfer of money.

#9. LPG Cylinder Prices Kept in Check

Oil marketing companies revise the prices of LPG on the first day of every month depending on the crude rates in the international markets.

#10. GST-Registered Small Biz

According to a report from ZeeNews, businesses with up to Rs 5 crore turnover will have to file only four GST sales returns, or GSTR-3B, from January instead of 12 at present.

The Quarterly filing of Return with Monthly Payment (QRMP) Scheme would impact almost 94 lakh taxpayers, about 92% of the total tax base of GST.

With this, from January onwards, small taxpayers would need to file only eight returns (four GSTR-3B and four GSTR-1 returns) in a year.

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