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11 June 2021

Amnesty scheme to rationalize late fee for delay in filing of GSTR-3B.

The journey of Goods and Service Tax started in July 2017 and since then we have seen number of amendments in different provisions of the Act. Considering the initial complexities in the procedural aspect i.e. filing of returns, various relief measure were introduced by the government to give chances to the tax payer who have done defaults in the filing of GST return.

A series of such relief was introduced vide No. 28/2017-CT, 50/2017-CT, 64/2017-CT, 22/2018-CT, 41/2018-CT, 76/2018-CT, 32/2020-CT, 52/2020-CT and 09/2021-CT providing conditional waiver of late fees levied on account of non-filing of GSTR-3B form provided that the tax payers have complied with the condition laid in the respective notification. Although by providing relief by way of amnesty scheme, government couldn’t completely eliminate the non-compliance and evasion of tax thereof on account of non-filing of returns however it has achieved partial success in bringing number of tax payer under compliance bracket.

Amid the second wave of global pandemic of Coronavirus, another such scheme has been announced in the 43rd GST council meeting held on 28th May 2021. In order to give effect to that scheme, the Central Government issues the amnesty scheme vide Notification No. 19/2021-CT dated 01st June 2021 to give a chance to the defaulter of GST filers to bring themselves under the compliance bracket by rationalising the maximum amount of late fees for each return in FORM GSTR-3B.

Now, the new rationalised late fees structure for the defaulters during the period from July 2017 to April 2021 is as follows:

S. No. Scenarios Late Fees Maximum capping
1. Tax Payer having NIL GST Liability Rs. 10/ day-CGST Rs. 10/ day-SGST Rs. 250-CGST Rs. 250-SGST
2. Tax Payer other than above Rs. 25/ day-CGST Rs. 25/ day-SGST Rs. 500-CGST Rs. 500-SGST

Analysing the impact of relief, in case of a tax payer who has made default in filing of GST return since July 2017 and willing to opt for complying with the return provisions, the total outflow of late fees under the amnesty scheme as well as under original provision has been stated in the below table:

    Amnesty scheme If not opted Amnesty scheme
Period ranging from Months No Tax liability (CGST+SGST) Others tax payers (CGST+SGST) No Tax liability (CGST+SGST)* Others tax payers (CGST+SGST)*
Jul-17 Mar-18 9         4,500         9,000 90,000 90,000
Apr-18 Mar-19 12         6,000      12,000 1,20,000 1,20,000
Apr-19 Mar-20 12         6,000      12,000 1,16,200 1,20,000
Apr-20 Mar-21 12         6,000      12,000 50,120 95,200
Apr-21 - 1              240              600 240 600
TOTAL        22,740        45,600     3,76,560     4,25,800

*The late fees before amnesty scheme been calculated deeming that the registered person has filed the GSTR-3B by 01/06/2021 whose maximum capping for each month is Rs. 10,000/- (CGST+SGST).

This is a golden opportunity for the tax payer who have defaulted inadvertently in the filing of their returns. The scheme has led to substantial reduction in the late fees resulting in the big relief.