Responding to requests in the social media for waiver of late fee on non-filing of Goods and Services Tax (GST) returns since the beginning of the indirect tax reform, finance ministry on Monday said the upcoming GST Council will take up the matter.
“In the recent past, tweets have been noticed by the government on the issue of waiver of late fee applicable on non-filing of GSTR 3B returns. The current requests for waiver of late fee pertains to the old period (August 2017 to January 2020). The trade is informed that the issue of late fee would be taken up for discussion in the next GST Council meeting," the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) tweeted.
CBIC said for small businesses having turnover less than ₹5 crore struggling to cope with the outfall of the coronavirus pandemic, finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman has already announced extension of filing GST returns of February, March, April and May till 30 June for which no late fine will be collected.
However, CBIC noted that late fee is imposed to ensure that taxpayers file return in time and pay taxes due to the government. “This is a step to ensure that a certain discipline is maintained regarding compliance. Honest and compliant taxpayers would be discriminated negatively in the absence of such a provision," it added.
The GST Council meeting is scheduled to be held sometime in June. Mint reported on 29 May that finance ministry is not in favour of raising GST rates even on non-essential items at a time its revenue collections are expected to be badly hit by the lockdown to contain the spread of covid-19. In April, central GST collections dipped 87%, mostly because of an extension of the late date of filing returns till end June.