GSTR 3B is a simplified summary return and the purpose of the return is for taxpayers to declare their summary GST liabilities for the tax period and the discharge of these liabilities in a timely manner
A normal taxpayer is required to file GSTR 1, 2, & 3 returns for every month. In case of extension of due dates for filing of GSTR 1 and GSTR 2, GSTR 3B needs to be filed and subsequently if there is any discrepancy between the system generated 3B and earlier filed 3B the taxpayer will have to pay additional tax, liability and other dues.
Because of various technical snags since start of the portal and other issues in GSTN , Ministry of Finance on 18th June 2017 via press release announced Relaxation in return filing procedure for first two months of GST implementation http://pib.nic.in/newsite/PrintRelease.aspx?relid=165735 . In the same Press Release it was mentioned that “No late fees and penalty would be levied for the interim period. This is intended to provide a sense of comfort to the taxpayers and give them an elbow room to attune themselves with the requirements of the changed system. This not only underlines the government’s commitment towards ensuring that all the stakeholders are on board but also provides an opportunity to the taxpayers to be ready for this historic reform.”
However this Relaxation for levying of late fees or penalty is now contradicted by Ministry of Finance from various posts.
1) Tweet by GST Official Twitter Handle
Official Twitter handle of GST GOI tweeted that late fees as prescribed under section 47 will be the fine for not submitting GSTR 3 B before due date (20th August 2017 in case of July month).
2) GSTN system will auto calculate Late Fees in case of GSTR-3B
While releasing Step by Step guide on how to file GSTR- 3B on 16th August 2017, CBEC in point no. 4 stated that late fee will be computed by the system in point number 4.
3) Union Minister of State for Finance and Corporate Affairs Mr Arjun Meghwal Tweet.
Deputy FM Mr. today tweeted a newspaper item of a seminar at Agra he attended which categorically said that Late fee of Rs. 100 per day subject to maximum of Rs. 5000 (Section 47 of Act) will be levied if GSTR – 3 B is filed beyond due date.
Thus from the above latest information from various Finance Ministry constituents, it is evident that Late Fee or Penalty will be levied for non-filing of GSTR- 3B in time. There is no notification for the above Press Release dated 18th June 2017 which can give it a legal significance for overriding provisions of act.
I and many other Professionals have asked the questions via tweet to these twitter handles about relaxation for late fee and penalty given by CBEC for the interim period of 2 months In light of above 3 factor, however there is no reply for the same. Thus having ambiguity regarding the matter.
As per FAQs on GSTR 3 B on GSTN portal, it is stated in point no. 9 as
9. Is filing of GSTR 3 mandatory even if there is no business in the particular tax period?
Ans: Like for filing of GSTR 1, 2 and 3, GSTR 3B is also mandatory to be filed by all normal and casual tax payers, even if there is no business in the particular tax period.
So it is also to be kept in mind that even if there are no transactions in a specific month, NIL GST Return is to be filed compulsorily.
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