Relief provided by the Government in GST amidst the Coronavirus (COVID19) Pandemic

As you all know, the current Coronavirus Pandemic has caused a huge turmoil in the economic sector of the whole world. And amidst this, our Govt. has taken a step of imposing a lockdown in the country. To enable the businesses to cope up with the regulatory compliance under GST, the Govt. has provided some relief measures vide 7 notifications issued on 3rd April, 2020.

Coming to GST Returns, the govt. has waived the late fees on filing of the GSTR 1 for monthly as well as quarterly taxpayers. The relief has been provided for the GSTR 1 for the months of March, April and May 2020 for monthly filing taxpayers and for January-March 2020 quarter for quarterly filing taxpayers. The late fees on the said returns are waived off until 30th June, 2020. This is laid down under the Notification No. 33 of 2020 – Central Tax, issued by CBIC on 3rd April. For clarification, please refer to Table 1.

Table 1: GSTR 1 DATES

Taxpayers Period New Date
Monthly

 

 

March 2020 30th June, 2020
April 2020 30th June, 2020
May 2020 30th June, 2020
Quarterly Jan 2020 to March 2020 30th June, 2020

The late fees for GSTR 3B return has also been waived off by the govt. This waiver has been made up to different dates factored by turnover of the taxpayer and the month for which the return is being filed as explained in the Table 2. For taxpayers having an aggregate turnover of More than Rs. 5 Crore in the previous financial year, the late fees for GSTR 3B for the months of February, March and April 2020 has been waived till 24th June, 2020. That means these taxpayers need to file the returns till 24th June 2020 to avoid late fees.

For taxpayers having an aggregate turnover of More than Rs. 1.5 Crore but less than Rs. 5 Cr. in the previous financial year, the late fees for GSTR 3B for the months of February and March has been waived till 29th June, 2020 and the late fees for GSTR 3B for the month of April has been waived till 30th June, 2020. For taxpayers having an aggregate turnover of Less than Rs. 1.5 Cr. in the previous financial year, the late fees for GSTR 3B for the month of February 2020 is waived till 30th June, 2020, for the month of March, it has been waived till 3rd July, 2020 and for the month of April, it has been waived till 06th July, 2020. This is laid down under the Notification No. 32 of 2020 – Central Tax, issued by CBIC on 3rd April. For clarification, please refer to Table 2.

Table 2: GSTR 3B DATES – FEB. – APR. 2020

Taxpayers with turnover Period New Date
> 5 Cr. Feb, March, Apr 2020 24th June, 2020
1.5 – 5 Cr. Feb, March 2020 29th June, 2020
April 2020 30th June, 2020
< 1.5 Cr. Feb 2020 30th June, 2020
March 2020 03rd July, 2020
April 2020 06th July, 2020

The Govt, recently introduced a staggered system of filing GSTR 3B so as to curtail the load upon the GST Portal. In that system, the dates were divided as per the state in which the taxpayer is registered under GST. Following the same staggered system, the late fees on filing of GSTR 3B for the month of May has been extended from its original dates to 27th June 2020 for taxpayers having a turnover of more than Rs. 5 Crore in the previous financial year. For taxpayers having turnover of less than Rs. 5Crore in the previous financial year, the dates have been decided as 29th June 2020 and 30th June 2020 as per the states of registration of the taxpayers as shown in the Table 3. This is laid down under the Notification No. 36 of 2020 – Central Tax, issued by CBIC on 3rd April.

Table 3: GSTR 3B DATES – MAY 2020

 

Taxpayers with turnover

States New Date
Above 5 Cr. All States 27th June, 2020
Below 5 Cr. Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Goa, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, the Union territories of Daman and Diu and Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Puducherry, Andaman and Nicobar Islands & Lakshadweep 29th June, 2020
Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Haryana, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura, Meghalaya, Assam, West Bengal, Jharkhand or Odisha, the Union territories of Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh, Chandigarh & Delhi 30th June, 2020

The Govt. also provide some relief in the interest concerning the late payment of tax, though it is not waived completely. For the taxpayers having an aggregate turnover of above Rs. 5 Crore, the interest on late payment of tax is waived only for 15 days of the old date of filing of the GSTR 3B for that month, and after that, interest at a reduced 9% shall apply on such late payment of tax till 24th June, 2020.

For e.g., If a Company having aggregate turnover of Rs. 6 Crores, files its GSTR 3B for the month of March within its old last date i.e. 20th April 2020 or even within 15 days of its old last date i.e. 5th May 2020, no interest shall be chargeable upon payment of such tax, but if the company files the said return after 5th May and by 24th June 2020, a reduced rate of interest of 9% per annum shall be applicable. And if the company files its said return after 24th June, the normal rate of interest of 18% p.a. shall be applicable.

Coming on to taxpayers with turnover below Rs. 5 Crore and above Rs. 1.5 Crore, the interest on late payment of tax and filing of GSTR 3B is waived for the months of February 2020 and March 2020 till 29th June 2020 and for the month of April 2020 till 30th June 2020.

For taxpayers having turnover below Rs. 1.5 Crore, the interest on late payment of tax and filing of GSTR 3B is waived for the month of February 2020 till 30th June, 2020, March 2020 till 3rd July 2020 and for the month of April 2020 till 6th July 2020 as shown in Table 4.

This is laid down under the Notification No. 31 of 2020 – Central Tax, issued by CBIC on 3rd April, 2020. If this seems a little confusing, I’ll suggest taking the help of the updated GST calendar, available for download on the link provided here (https://www.amlegal.online/downloads) , it will help to understand it better.

Table 4: GSTR 3B – INTEREST WAIVER

Taxpayers with turnover Interest Rate Month Untill Date
Above 5 Cr. Nil until 15 days after the old due date, 9% thereafter. Feb, March, April 2020 24th June, 2020
1.5 – 5 Cr. Nil Feb, March 2020 29th June, 2020
April 2020 30th June, 2020
Below 1.5 Cr. Nil Feb 2020 30th June, 2020
March 2020 03rd July, 2020
April 2020 06th July, 2020

For Composition taxpayers, the last date to file CMP 08, which is the quarterly return, for the quarter ending March 2020, is extended to 7th July, 2020 and the last date to file GSTR 4 which is to be filed annually, for the year ending 31st March 2020 is extended to 15th July 2020 as shown in Table 5. This is laid down under the Notification No. 34 of 2020 – Central Tax.

Table 5: COMPOSITION TAXPAYERS – DATE EXTENSION

Return Period New Date
GSTR 4 2019-20 (Annual) 15th July, 2020
CMP 08 January – March 2020 07th July, 2020

Also, there have been some amendments in the provisions of the CGST Rules 2017 vide Notification No. 30 of 2020 – Central Tax. As per this, the last date to opt for composition scheme by regular taxpayers is extended to 30th June, 2020 and the resultant last date to file the ITC 03 return is 31st July 2020.

As you all know, the Govt. introduced a restriction of 10% on provisional input tax credit taken by taxpayers in GSTR 3B which is over and above what is reflected GSTR 2A. The said provision is henceforth relaxed a little bit due to the pandemic, and now, the effect of the said provision shall be cumulatively taken in the GSTR 3B of September 2020 for the months of February till August.

Apart from these, the govt. has also provided a blanket extension in the provisions of the CGST Act including extending the limitations for orders, appeals, revisions under the Act. The said blanket extension has some exceptions concerning some provisions of the Act as mentioned in the relevant notification. This is laid down under the Notification No. 35 of 2020 – Central Tax, issued by CBIC on 3rd April, 2020.

These were all the changes brought by the Govt. to ease the compliance upon taxpayers under GST.

(Author- Manu Gupta | BBA; LLM (Taxation) | Corporate & Taxation Partner | Amethyst Legal | Delhi)

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