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GST Amnesty Scheme

The Finance Ministry has observed that there are a large number of taxpayers who are not filing their GST returns since the inception in 2017. To put an end to this continuous default and provide an opportunity to non-compliant taxpayers to be up to date with their filings, the GST Amnesty Scheme was introduced. In this article, we shall discuss the following:

What Is The GST Amnesty Scheme?

From the time GST was introduced in July 2017, there has been a lot of non-compliance due to the – ambiguity in the GST provisions, regular amendments, lack of knowledge, etc. Further, the non-filers chose to not be compliant because of the penalty and late fee applications. Therefore, the GST Amnesty Scheme was introduced to encourage non-filers to voluntarily come forward and file their GST returns by providing a one-time relief from late fees. The provisions are discussed in detail below.

What Are The Specific Provisions As Per The Prescribed Notifications?

The notifications regarding the GST Amnesty Scheme are mentioned below in the order of issuance:

Notification Number Date of Notification Summary
Notification No. 74/2019 – Central Tax

&

Notification No. 04/2020 – Central Tax

26th December 2019

 

 

10th January 2020

● With effect from 19th December 2019, late fee payable stands entirely waived off for registered persons who had failed to file GSTR-1 from July 2017 to November 2019 by the due date,

● Provided they file the return between the period from 19th December 2019 and 17th January 2020.

Notification No. 52/2020 – Central Tax

&

Notification No. 57/2020 – Central Tax

24th June 2020

 

 

30th June 2020

● With effect from 25th June 2020, late fee payable stands waived off for registered persons who had failed to file GSTR-3B from July 2017 to July 2020 by the due date,

● Provided they file the return between the period from 1st July 2020 and 30th September 2020

–       If the tax payable in the return is Nil, then the late fee stands entirely waived off.

–       If there is a tax payable in the return, then the late fee above INR 250 stands waived, i.e., the maximum late fee payable for a taxpayer shall be INR 250 (CGST) and INR 250 (SGST) which is a total of INR 500.

Notification No. 67/2020 – Central Tax

 

21st September 2020 ● Late fee payable stands waived off for registered persons who had failed to file GSTR-4 for quarters from July 2017 to March 2020 by the due date,

● Provided they file the return between the period from 22nd September 2020 and 31st October 2020

–       If the tax payable in the return is Nil, then the late fee stands entirely waived off.

–       If there is a tax payable in the return, then the late fee above INR 250 stands waived, i.e., the maximum late fee payable for a taxpayer shall be INR 250 (CGST) and INR 250 (SGST) which is a total of INR 500.

Notification No. 68/2020 – Central Tax

 

21st September 2020 ● Late fee payable above INR 250 stands waived, i.e., the maximum late fee payable for a taxpayer shall be INR 250 (CGST) and INR 250 (SGST) which is a total of INR 500, for registered persons who had failed to file GSTR-10 by the due date,

● Provided they file the return between the period from 22nd September 2020 and 31st December 2020.

Note: A combined summary has been provided taking into consideration both the notifications, i.e., the principal notification and the amended notification relevant to the GST Amnesty Scheme.

Taxpayers filing returns for July 2017 to July 2020 post 30th September 2020 are still facing the considerable liability of late fees. Owing to the pandemic that hit the country this year, many businesses have faced significant losses and are finding it hard to pay off the regular tax liabilities. MSMEs are liable to pay a late fee of INR 50 per day (INR 20 per day in case of a NIL return) for late filing of GSTR-3B by the due date. Considering all this, constant requests are being made to the Government to extend the period of the GST Amnesty Scheme.

GST Compliance