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Relief for taxpayers: Fine on delayed filing of GST returns for August, September dropped

While only 33.98 lakh July returns were filed till the due date, the number has now gone up to 55.87 lakh. Similarly for August 28.46 lakh returns were filed till the last date, but the figure went up to 51.37 lakh later.

BT Online | October 24, 2017 | Updated 14:53 IST
Relief for taxpayers: Fine on delayed filing of GST returns for August, September dropped

The penalty on delayed filing of initial GST returns for the months of August and September have been dropped for the ease of taxpayers. The government is now planning to credit the late fine which has been charged to taxpayers back to their accounts. The decision came on the back of demands from businessed to waive the penalty for delayed filing of GSTR-3B returns.

"To facilitate taxpayers, late fee on filing of GSTR-3B for August and September has been has been waived. Late fee paid will be credited back to taxpayer ledger," Finance Minister Arun Jaitley mentioned in a tweet.

In a similar move earlier, the government had waived the late fee for delay in the first-ever GST returns filed for the month of July under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime. The GST law mandates for charging a late fee of Rs 100 per day on Central GST (CGST) and the same amount on State GST (SGST) in case of late filing of returns and payment of taxes.

As per the data available with the GST Network (GSTN), a huge chunk of businesses file their returns after the expiry of the due date. The incerease in influx of traffic on the last day hinders with the smooth functuoning of the IT backbone of the GST regime, resulting in taxpayers being unable to file their returns. As of now, a Group of Ministers led by Assam Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma is looking into the glitches in GSTN portal or order from the GST Council. The ministerial panel will submit its findings and suggestions to the Council when it meets next on November 10 in Guwahati.

According to norms, preliminary returns GSTR-3B for a month is filed on the 20th day of the corresponding month after paying due taxes. Going by the official numbers, taxpayers have filed 55.87 lakh GSTR-3B returns for the month of July, 51.37 lakh for August and more than 42 lakh for September. While only 33.98 lakh returns were filed for July till the due date, the number has now increased up to 55.87 lakh. On similar line, 28.46 lakh GST returns were filed for August before the deadline expired, but the figure went up to 51.37 lakh later. Similarly, taxpayers filed 39.4 lakh returns for September by the due date and the number is still rising, crossing 42 lakh GST retruns till yesterday.

Meanwhile, GSTN has annoucned yesterday that exporters can start claiming refunds for GST paid in August and September from this week following the launch an online application for processing of refund.

GSTN has developed the app wherein exporters can save and upload their sales data which are part of GSTR-1 after filling up export details in Table 6A. The table will be then extracted separately and after exporters digitally sign it, it would automatically go to the customs department.

The customs department will then validate the information provided in the table with the shipping bill data and also the taxes paid in GSTR-3B. The refund amount would be either credited to exporter's bank account through ECS or a cheque would be issued.

GST Network (GSTN), the company handling IT infrastructure for the indirect tax regime, has from October 10 started issuing refunds to exporters for Integrated GST (IGST) they paid for the month of July, after matching GSTR-3B and GSTR-1.

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