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GST Return filing date extended, relief from late fee, penalties
March, 26th 2020

To provide relief to businesses grappling with the economic impact of Covid 19, the government on Tuesday said it is extending the filing of Return for the month of March, April and May 2020 and composition returns under GST June 30.

Addressing the press, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman added that staggered filing will apply. “While I announce 30th June as the date, specific regions will have dates like 27, 29 or 30th.

Significantly, the FM also said companies which have less than Rs 5 crore turnover will not have to pay interest, late fee or penalty. For bigger companies late fee and penalty will not apply and only interest at a reduced rate of 9% will be charged. “This is only for bigger companies. Majority of companies will have no interest, late fee or penalty,” said Sitharaman.



The date for opting for composition scheme has also been extended to June 30, 2020.

“The extension of GST return filing timelines together with the deferment of e-invoicing and new returns announced earlier would allow businesses to focus on resumption of business processes once normalcy resumes in future, “says MS Mani, Partner, Deloitte India.

He adds that the waiver of interest, late fees and penalties for SME’s would enable them to focus on reviving their businesses once things are back to normal.

 
There has been a clamour from taxpayers to provide relief from compliances and especially GST. Today’s announcement is likely to provide some relief. “Some key filing and payment relaxations that should bring rejoice to the industry. One hopes this is the first tranche and there are other tranches to follow, wherein benefits like GST rate reductions, exemption from import duties, reduced compliances etc. are announced.” said Harpreet Singh, Partner, KPMG India.

The Government has also decided that the due date for issue of notice, notification, approval order, sanction order, filing of appeal, furnishing of return, statements, applications, reports, any other documents, time limit for any compliance under the GST laws where the time limit is expiring between 20th March 2020 to 29th June 2020 will be extended to 30th June 2020.


According to Rajat Bose, Partner, Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co, given the current state of disruption in business, the extension of deadline for filing of GST returns is a much needed relief for the industry.

“It is heartening to see that the government is looking after the interests of small businesses by waiving off interest, penalty and late fee. The government should also consider exempting essential commodities from GST as a temporary measure to ensure that basic necessities are available at reasonable prices during this time," says Bose
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