Circular No. ES/175/2020-21 2nd June, 2020
To: Members of the Council
Sub: Issue of GST late fee for the past period (August 2017 to January 2020) to be discussed in the next GST Council meeting
The Ministry of Finance has issued a Press Release dated 1st June, 2020 on the above subject.
The CBIC said there have been demands for waiver of late fee for returns which were required to be filed from the beginning of Goods and Services Tax, which is August 2017. In order to help the small businesses, having turnover of less than Rs 5 crore, in the current situation arising out of COVID-19, Finance Minister, Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman had already announced an extension of GST returns of February, March, April and May 2020 till June 2020 and no late fee will be charged for this period.
The current request is for waiver of late fee pertaining to the old period (August, 2017 to January, 2020). The CBIC said the late fee is imposed to ensure that the taxpayers file return in time and pay taxes on the amount collected from buyers and 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.
In GST, all decisions are taken by the Centre and the state with the approval of the GST Council. It would not be possible or desirable for the Central government to unilaterally take a view on this issue and therefore, the trade is informed that the issue of late fee would be taken up for discussion in the next GST Council meeting. The next meeting of the GST Council is likely to be held on June 14, 2020.
Members may kindly make a note of the above.