GST audit and annual return are to be filed up to a certain date and at present the due date is 31st January 2020. Let us first see how this due date of the GST audit and Annual return is extended from time to time and in most of the cases of extension the reasons of extension were only administrative and technical. The formation of the form GSTR-9/9C and their amendments and the utilities were the mainly responsible for the extension of the date. Date extensions in GST are in most of the cases are based on the same reasons and it means the GST formalities, system and the administration are on trial and error basis and not ready for these compliance.

Let us see the chronological order of the due dates of the GSTR-9C and all the dates were extended due to one or other administrative and/or technical  problem/problems:-

S.NO. DUE DATE OF GSTR-9/9C*
1. 31/12/2018
2. 31/03/2019
3. 30/06/2019
4. 31/08/2019
5. 30/11/2019
6. 31/12/2019
7. 31/01/2020

*One or more dates may be wrongly added or Missed but the purpose is to show that there were several extensions.

As mentioned above all these dates were extended for one or more technical and administrative reason and now the current date is 31st Jan 2020 but as per the reports received the overall completion of work is very slow and especially the number of GSTR-C returns filed is very few. The work left with the professionals in this respect is too much.

Word late fees underlined on a yellow legal pad

The GST audit is a unique, new and time consuming task and further No revision of GSTR-3B has made this work more cumbersome and confusing.

The purpose of GST audit is very clear. The purpose is to reconcile the Audited financial Statements and turnover declared in Annual Return and gives the recommendation about additional tax liability which is not paid by the dealer and now which is recommended to be paid by the dealer. It requires a desired professional skill plus sufficient time. It will certainly increase the revenue due to purposeful correction in tax to be paid by the dealer.

The extension of date again and again is not a solution but it is the administrative compulsion especially with respect to the procedural compliance in the case whole GST procedures and GSTR-9 and GSTR-9C are not exceptions in this respect. There is no need to go for reasons of the same since GST is a new tax and it is new for administrators, lawmakers and the taxpayers so it is a natural phenomenon.

At present there is no need to impose the late fees on GSTR-9 and GSTR-9C and accept these forms without late fees after lapse of due date and it will certainly enhance their purposefulness and credibility. Penalizing the dealers will not work here and further it is not prudent to make GST a “Late Fees Tax” especially where the lawmakers have extended the due date for “several times” due to their own reasons. So please allow the professionals to do the Audits in natural way and remove the late fees on GSTR-9 and 9 C till certain times say 3st. March 2020.

With Goods Wishes

CA SUDHIR HALAKHANDI

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One Comment

  1. KETAN says:

    n GST Council meeting held on 22nd December it has been decided to bring one-time late fee waiver scheme. The scheme provides that late fees for late filing of GSTR-3B for the months of July 2017 to September 2018 will be waived if the return is filed between 22nd December 2018 to 31st March 2019.
    but what about who filled there returnwith late fee before 22nd december 18

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