Synopsis: The Hon’ble Gujarat High Court in the matter of AAP & Co. vs Union of India has grants interim relief in writ challenging imposition of late fees for late filing of GSTR-3B under Section 47 of the CGST Act.
M/s AAP & Co. (“the Petitioner”) filed writ petition before the Hon’ble Gujarat High Court on behalf of thirty-one applicants for issuing appropriate writ, order or direction and declare the imposition of late fees for late filing of Form GSTR-3B under Section 47 of the CGST Act, 2017 (“CGST Act”) as illegal, ultra vires and without any authority of law.
The Petitioner seeks the benefit of complete waiver of late fees in accordance with the second proviso to the Notification No.76/2018-Central Tax for the returns furnished upto September 2018.
In such circumstances, the levy of late fees by virtue of the power under Section 47 of the CGST Act is something else which this Court will have to look into and adjudicate.
The Hon’ble Gujarat High Court in Special Civil Application No. 14624 of 2019 dated August 28, 2019 held that, the writ applicant have been able to make a strong prima facie case to have an ad-interim order granting stay on recovery proceedings for the recovery of late fees for late filing of Form GSTR-3B for the period 1st July 2017 to 30th September 2018 for which returns are furnished between 1st July, 2017 to 21st December, 2018.
Accordingly, the High Court issued a notice returnable on October 16, 2019.
Our Comments: While addressing the dilemma prevailing over the industry qua the last date for availment of ITC for Financial Year 2017-18, the Hon’ble Gujarat High Court earlier in Special Civil Application No. 18962 of 2018 dated June 24, 2019, had categorically held that GSTR-3B is not a return under Section 39 of the CGST Act. The HC observed as under:
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