The government has waived late fees for non-filers of summary and final sales returns for the July 2017-September 2018 period by businesses registered under the goods and services tax (GST).
However, these businesses would have to file their returns for the 15-month period by March 31, 2019, the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) said.
Giving effect to the decision of the GST Council in its December 22 meeting, CBIC has notified waiver of late fees for non filing of GSTR-3B, GSTR-1 and GSTR-4 and non-payment of taxes between July 2017 and September 2018.
While GSTR-3B is the summary sales return filed by businesses, GSTR-1 is the final sales return.GSTR-4 is filed by businesses who have opted for composition scheme, under which they have to file returns quarterly.
The fee for late filing of the returns is Rs 25 per day for Central GST (CGST) and an equal amount under State GST (SGST).
However, those businesses who have to file returns but have 'nil' tax liability would have to pay a fine of Rs 10 under CGST law, and an equal amount under SGST law.
The CBIC said "the amount of late fee payable under Section 47 of the said (CGST) Act shall stand waived for the registered persons who failed to furnish the return" in Form GSTR-3B GSTR-1, for the months between July 2017 and September 2018, by the due date but furnishes the said return between the period from December 22, 2018 to March 31, 2019.
For businesses filing GSTR-4, the late fees would be waived for non-filing of returns for the quarters from July 2017 to September 2018 provided the said returns are furnished between the period from December 22, 2018 to March 31, 2019, the CBIC said.
AMRG & Associates Partner Rajat Mohan said:"On popular demand, the finance ministry has finally waived the late fees for taxpayers who were unable to file GSTR-1, GSTR 3B or GSTR-4 for the period July 2017 to September 2018 by the due date but furnished the same between 22 December to 31 March, 2019.This relief would be light on exchequer but would definitely afford brownie points for the government being a populist measure.