Late Fee Relief for Non-Filer GST Returns to Help Small Businesses and Increase Their Income: Experts

Streamlining late fees for deferred filing of monthly GST returns, tax experts say, will relieve small businesses and increase government revenue.

The GST Council, chaired by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and made up of ministers of state, decided on Friday to come up with an amnesty plan to relieve taxpayers of late fees for pending returns.

The late fee for non-provision of GSTR-3B for July 2017 to April 2021 was capped at ₹ 500 per return for taxpayers who had no tax liability.

For those subject to tax, a maximum of ₹ 1,000 per late return will be charged, provided these returns are filed by August 31, 2021.

In addition, the council has made it optional for taxpayers with turnover of up to ₹ 2 crore to file annual returns for 2020-2021.

In addition, the reconciliation statement in Form GSTR-9C for fiscal year 2020-2021 will need to be filed by taxpayers with aggregate annual turnover above ₹ 5 crore.

Abhishek Jain, EY Tax Partner, said: “Overall, it can be said that the Board has given due consideration to the interests of small industry players and provided them with the necessary relief, especially that these companies were the most affected by the pandemic ”.

Rajat Mohan, senior partner at AMRG & Associates, said this was a substantial relief from late payment fees for GSTR-3B non-filers.

“This time around, the amnesty program will increase overall compliance, thereby contributing additional funds to the treasury,” he added.

Rajat Bose, partner of Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co, said easing compliance measures should provide temporary relief to small and medium taxpayers.

“Overall, however, the Council has failed to address the main industry and common man issues resulting from the pandemic,” Bose added.

Deloitte India Senior Director Mr. S. Mani said that while the amnesty program would greatly benefit small businesses, there is a need to extend the same to other businesses that may not have fulfilled their obligations. due to the pandemic.

Pawan Arora, Partner of Athena Law Associates, said that while the board has allowed the self-certification of the annual reconciliation in lieu of CA’s GST audit, taxpayers should review their annual compliance to ensure proper compliance. .

Nexdigm – Indirect Tax Executive Director Saket Patawari said the compliance relief would likely benefit around 89% of taxpayers.

“While all of the Council’s recommendations may offer temporary relief to taxpayers, some important aspects such as correcting the reversal of rights, the right to ITC vis-à-vis employee vaccination, and the extension of due dates. deadline for GST declarations remain eluded, ”he added. .

Vivek Jalan, Partner of Tax Connect Advisory Services LLP, said filing GSTR 9 (annual return) is the last opportunity for a taxpayer to rectify errors made during the fiscal year and should be prepared with the utmost care. The GST service can issue advisories in the event of an inconsistency detected by its data analysis wing in the GSTR 9.

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