GST late fee waiver unfair, say those who have paid
June, 17th 2020
GST council's decision to waive late fee for assesses who have not filed any of their GST returns from July 2017 till March 2020 has raised several eyebrows. As the waiver has been given with the condition that such return should be filed between July 1st till September 30th, 2020, huge resentment is being witnessed amongst those assesses who have already paid huge penalties and filed their delayed GST returns.
Such tax payers are now seeking refund of the late fees paid by them citing the reason that this is injustice to them. Several tax professionals too are of the view that the waiver of late fee should be extended to the tax payers who already paid these.
According to Narinder Bhamra, president of Fasteners Manufacturers Association of India, "It is really shocking that the tax payers who defaulted on filing of GST returns for months but later filed these by paying huge late fees have been shown no leniency for their compliance. On the other hand, those who have deliberately delayed filing of their returns for such long time and evaded the late fees are being rewarded by waiving off the fees and capping it to Rs 500 in case of tax liability."
"This is sheer injustice with the tax payers who paid huge amount of fees from their hard earned money. We strongly oppose this and our association will do what so ever it takes to raise our voice against this and get relief to the tax payers who already paid the late fees," he added.
According to Harish Kairpal, finance secretary of Knitwear Club, "We are not against waiving off late fee for GST assessees who have not filed their returns till now. But what about those who already paid huge amount in form of late fee for the delayed return filing. The GST council must give relief to such tax payers as we ll who have paid such fees."
Giving more information about the issue, NK Thamman, noted tax professional from the city said, "Under GST provisions, each assessee is required to file monthly GSTR-3B return by 20th of next month. In case assessees having turnover less than Rs 5 crore and situated in State of Punjab, last date is 24th of next month. As per rules the assessees who are having tax liability, but fail to file return by due date, the late fee is Rs 50 for every day of delay. Similarly, the assessees who are having NIL tax liability, but fails to file return by due date, the late fee is Rs 20 for every day of delay. "
He further added that "as per press release issued for decisions made in '40th Virtual Meeting of GST Council' held on June 12th 2020, the GST Council has totally waived late fee for non-furnishing of monthly GSTR-3B (where there is NIL tax liability]) by due date for the period July, 2017 to January, 2020, if such return is filed between July 1st to September 30th 2020. Similarly, the GST Council has capped the maximum late fee at Rs 500/- per return for non-furnishing of monthly GSTR-3B (where there is a tax liability) by due date for the period July, 2017 to January, 2020. Subject to condition that if such return is filed between July 1st till September 30th 2020. As per GST Council, this decision has been taken to clear up pendency by those assessees who have not filed their returns due date."
Thamman also added, "It is to point out here that earlier also, in a notification on December 31st 2018, late fee for non-furnishing of GSTR-3B return for the period July, 2017 to September, 2018 by due date was totally waived if such returns were filed during December 22, 2018 till March 31, 2019. This decision was also taken to clear up pendency in return filling. But no notification has been issued till date for refunding late fee deposited by assessees who have filed their return with some delay. We are hoping that in best interest of the assesses GST council should consider doing so at the earliest."