COVID-19 continues to impact the Indian economy on a very large scale. Major businesses are yet to start their normal operations due to extended lockdown in most parts of the country. Amongst all sectors facing a tough time, it is Travel & Tourism, Food & Beverage (F&B), and Real Estate Sectors that have been hit the most. Many aviation companies are on the verge of filing bankruptcy if the situation continues for some more time. Businesses are facing issues in operation due to a shortage of labor due to migrant workers returning to their home town.
With businesses trying to keep themselves afloat, cutting or deferring salaries of their employees, arranging working capital to meet statutory requirements under various laws is becoming difficult with each passing day. Multiple requests from various industry bodies have been made to rationalize the GST rate especially for the above sectors as a relief measure to boost demands from customers and uplifting of the economy. Though the compliance requirement is relaxed for most of the cases under the pandemic period, an option to file a return without payment which has been a very long due demand should be brought into force.
The Board had provided certain relaxations to small taxpayers from periodic compliances by way of earlier notifications issued on 24th June 2020. In continuation with the series of relief measures announced by the Board due to COVID-19 pandemic, now after realizing the hardships of taxpayers with a turnover of more than INR 5 crores in the preceding F.Y., the Board has provided late fee relaxation vide Notification No. 57/2020 Central Tax dated 30th June 2020 to be effective from 25th June 2020.
The below table summarises the notifications issued till date with respect to GSTR 3B filings for the period between February 2020-July, 2020:
|Tax Period||GSTR 3B Late fee in case of Taxpayer with a Turnover of more than INR 5 Crores in preceding F.Y.||GSTR 3B Late fee in case of Taxpayer with a Turnover of up to INR 5 Crores in preceding F.Y.|
Nil late fee if GSTR 3B filed on or before
|A maximum late fee of INR 500, zero in case of nil liability if GSTR 3B filed on or before (NN 57/2020-CT dated 30th June 2020)|
Rate of Interest
|Nil late fee if GSTR 3B filed on or before (Category I/II)||A maximum late fee of INR 500, zero in case of nil liability if GSTR 3B filed on or before (NN 57/2020-CT dated 30th June 2020)|
Rate of Interest
(NN 51/2020-CT dated 24th June 2020)
|February 2020||24th June 2020||30th Sept 2020|
Nil interest till 4th April 2020, 9% till 24th June 2020, thereafter 18%
(NN 51/2020-CT dated 24th June 2020)
|30th June 2020||30th Sept 2020||Nil till notified dates & 9% till 30th Sep 2020, thereafter 18%.|
|March 2020||24th June 2020||30th Sept 2020|
Nil interest till 5th May 2020, 9% till 24th June 2020, thereafter 18% (NN 51/2020-CT dated 24th June 2020)
|3rd /5th July 2020||30th Sept 2020||Nil till notified dates & 9% till 30th Sept 2020, thereafter 18%.|
|April 2020||24th June 2020||30th Sept 2020||Nil interest till 4th June 2020, 9% till 24th June 2020, thereafter 18% (NN 51/2020-CT dated 24th June 2020)||6th /9th of July||30th Sept 2020||Nil till notified dates & 9% till 30th Sep 2020, thereafter 18%.|
|May 2020||27th June 2020||30th Sept 2020||18% after 27th June 2020||12th /15th July 2020||30th Sept 2020||Nil till notified dates & 9% till 30th Sept 2020, thereafter 18%.|
|June 2020||20th July 2020||30th Sept 2020||18% after 20th July 2020||23rd/25th Sept 2020||30th Sept 2020||Nil till notified dates & 9% till 30th Sept 2020, thereafter 18%.|
|July 2020||20th August 2020||30th Sept 2020||18% after 20th August 2020||27th/29th Sept 2020||30th Sept 2020||Nil till notified dates & 9% till 30th Sept 2020, thereafter 18%.|
|States of Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Goa, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, the Union territories of Daman and Diu and Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Puducherry, Andaman, and the Nicobar Islands or Lakshadweep|
|the States of Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Haryana, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura, Meghalaya, Assam, West Bengal, Jharkhand or Odisha, the Union territories of Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh, Chandigarh or Delhi|
The above notifications have superseded Notification No. 31/2020-Central tax dated 3rd April 2020, Notification No. 32/2020-Central tax dated 3rd April 2020 & Notification No. 52/2020-Central Tax dated 24th June 2020.
The board has already by way of earlier notification provided a conditional waiver of late fee on non-filing of GSTR 3B for the period July 2017-January, 2020 for all taxpayers if furnished between 1st July 2020 to 30th September 2020. The late fee is reduced or waived as follows:
|Particular||Amount of late fee|
|For a taxpayer with liability||Maximum late fee capped at Rs. 500/-|
|For a taxpayer with Nil liability||Complete waiver of late fee|
|A late fee on non-furnishing of GSTR 3B for a taxpayer with nil tax liability between the period July 2017-July, 2020 shall be waived completely irrespective of the turnover of the taxpayer if furnished on or before 30th September 2020. For taxpayers with tax liability, the records can be cleaned at once after furnishing the GSTR 3B within the prescribed time period with a late fee of Rs. 500/-.|
The various notifications issued by CBIC have provided relaxations to taxpayers in the form of extended date of filing, reduced rate of interest, and late fee amount reduced or waived. However, the due dates for these periods have not been extended. Different statutes require reporting of periodic GST compliances, their due date, and filing date. As the due date has not been extended, filing GST returns after the due date shall be a qualification in all the statutory reports in an unfavorable manner to the stakeholders.
Additionally, late fee relaxation has been announced for large taxpayers but there is no relief from the 18% interest rate that shall be applicable to the delay of payment of tax beyond the notified dates.
Whilst the effective date of notification in relation to a waiver of late fees is 25th June 2020, the mechanism to be followed for taxpayers who have already deposited the late fee amount is ambiguous. Also, an amnesty scheme to file the first return starting from July 2017 to January 2020 for non-compliant taxpayers has been provided. The taxpayers who have already deposited the tax and late fee, if any applicable are now questioning themselves after the announcement.
A Tweet is posted by the GST Tech Twitter handle on 01st July 2020 announcing that late fee paid in excess than prescribed in the notification shall be re-credited in due course which is yet to be tested on grounds. More clarity on the refund of late fee is yet to come as to which tax period it shall cover- Only February-July, 2020, or July 2017-July, 2020.
Recently the Board had vided Notification No. 55/2020 & 56/2020-Central Tax dated 27th June 2020 further extended due date for various compliances including that of GST proceedings or appeals and for passing refund orders. The due date has been extended to 31st August 2020 from earlier 30th June 2020.
The compliance requirements of the Excise Act, Service Tax Act and Customs Act have also been extended to 30th September 2020. These notifications have been summarised below:
|Old Notification No.||New Notification No.||Particulars||As per old Notification||As per new Notification|
|The due date falls between||Extended due date to||The due date falls between||Extended due date to|
|NN 35/2020-CT dated 3rd April 2020||NN 55/2020-CT dated 27th June 2020|
The time limit for completion of any action by persons or authorities has been extended –
|20th March, 2020-29th June 2020||30th June 2020||20th March, 2020-30th August 2020||31st August 2020|
|NN 46/2020-CT dated 9th June 2020||NN 56/2020-CT dated 27th June 2020||The time limit for issuance of order against refund application. (The officer is required to issue refund order within sixty days from the date of receipt of an application for refund)||20th March, 2020-29th June 2020||30th June 2020||20th March, 2020-30th August 2020||31st August 2020|
dated 27th June
Section 6 of Taxation and Other Laws (Relaxation of certain Provisions) Ordinance, 2020
Time limits for completion of compliance under:
|20th March, 2020-29th June 2020||30th June 2020||20th March, 2020-29th Sept 2020||30th Sept 2020|