Relief Measures for Compliances under GST Laws in the time of Covid-19 Pandemic

The Central Government, in its fight against a life threatening Covid-19 pandemic in India and other many countries, has recently eased certain compliances under GST laws which are aimed at to provide relief to the trade and Industry in this tough period.

This article attempts to list all such measures notified by Central Government on 3rd April, 2020 vide its various notifications issued under the Central Goods and Service Tax Act, 2017 read with/under similar notifications in Integrated Goods and Service Tax Act, 2017 and under  Union Territory Goods and Service Tax Act, 2017.

1. Time Extension for opting Composition Scheme and deferment of Rule 36(4) applicability (Notification No 30/2020-Central Tax Dt. 03-04-2020)

Through this notification, the Central Government has amended Central Goods and Service Tax Rules, 2017 for providing time extension to the existing taxpayers for filing following intimation /applications / forms:-

Sl No Particulars of Change Existing Provision Amended Provision
1. Rule 3(3) – Addition of Proviso to Rule 3(3)

Effective date : 31st March, 2020 onwards

Presently, a regular tax payer who wishes to pay tax under section 10 (i.e. under composition scheme) is required to electronically file an intimation in FORM GST CMP-02 within a period of sixty days from the commencement of the relevant financial year. Through insertion of proviso, this time limit to file intimation in Form GST COM-02 for FY 2020-21 is increased to 30th Jun, 2020  which otherwise expires on 30th May, 2020
2. Rule 36(4) – Addition of Proviso to Rule 36(4)

Effective date : 3rd April, 2020 onwards

a) Under the existing provision, a registered person is entitled, on monthly basis in FORM GSTR-3B, to avail ITC only upto 10% of the eligible credit available in respect of invoices or debit notes appearing in GSTR-2A for those invoices or debit notes which are not appearing in GSTR-2A but are available with the registered person in physical form.

b) This requires taxpayers to do monthly ITC Reconciliation with the Books and GSTR-2A records before filing monthly GSTR-3B.

Now, this monthly ITC reconciliation exercise  has been restricted and it has been provided that this condition shall be applied cumulatively for the months of February, March, April, May, June, July and August, 2020 and its cumulative effect on ITC shall be taken in the GSTR-3B for the month of Sep-2020.

2. Reduction & Exemption from Interest for delayed filing of GST 3B Returns (Notification No 31/2020-Central Tax Dt. 03-04-2020)

This notification has brought certain changes in the Notification no 13/2017 Central Tax, dated the 28th June, 2017 which, inter alia, provides for rate of interest (i.e. @ 18%) payable by a registered person on the non-payment of output tax liability with in the specified time limit.

However, in order to reduce the financial burden on the trade and industry due to delayed / non-compliance, the Central Government has, with effect from 20th March, 2020, either reduced this interest rate or exempted certain category of registered person from such interest liability upon fulfilment of certain conditions, as per below table:-

SL No Class of registered persons Rate of interest Tax period Normal Due Date of filing GSTR-3B Extended Due Date of filing GSTR-3B Condition to comply
1 Taxpayers having an aggregate turnover > Rs.  5 crores in the preceding financial year  NIL Feb-2020 20th Mar 2020 04th Apr 2020 a) GSTR-3B Return to be filed within grace period of 15 days

b) Overall extended date is 24th June, 2020 for all covered  months covered

NIL Mar-2020 20th Apr 2020 05th May 2020
NIL Apr-2020 20th May 2020 04th Jun 2020
2. Taxpayers having an aggregate turnover > Rs. 1.50 crores but < Rs.5 crores in the preceding financial year  NIL Feb-2020 20th Mar 2020 29th Jun 2020 GSTR-3B for respective months should be filed on or before extended due dates of 29th / 30th June, 2020 for all covered months.
NIL Mar-2020 20th Apr 2020 29th Jun 2020
NIL Apr-2020 20th May 2020 30th Jun 2020
3. Taxpayers having an aggregate turnover upto Rs. 1.50 crores in the preceding financial year  NIL Feb-2020 20th Mar 2020 30th Jun 2020 GSTR-3B for respective months should be filed on or before extended due dates of 30th June/ 3rd /6th July, 2020 for all covered months.
NIL Mar-2020 20th Apr  2020 3rd Jul 2020
NIL Apr-2020 20th May 2020 6th Jul 2020

What if GSTR-3B returns are filed after extended time-limit

It is pertinent to note that if a taxpayer having aggregate turnover > Rs.5 Crores files the return GSTR-3B of specified month(s) after extended due dates but upto 24th June, 2020, then he is liable to pay interest at reduced rate of 9% p.a. for the period from the expiry of extended due date till the date of filing the return or 24th June, 2020, whichever is earlier.

Further, if such taxpayers having aggregate turnover > Rs.5 Crores and also other class of tax payers files the return(s) for any specified month(s) after 24th June, 2020 / respective extended due dates, as the case may be, then they are liable to pay normal interest at 18% p.a. from the expiry of normal due date till the date of actual filing of Return.

3. Waiver of Late fee for delayed filing of GSTR-3B Returns (Notification No 32/2020-Central Tax Dt. 03-04-2020)

This notification has brought changes in the Notification no 76/2018 Central Tax, dated 31st December, 2018, which, inter alia, provides for late fee payable by a registered person on delayed filing of GST Returns within the specified time limit.

However, in order to reduce the financial burden on the trade and industry due to delayed / non-compliance, the Central Government has with effect from 20th March, 2020, exempted certain category of registered person from such late fee liability upon fulfilment of certain conditions, as per below table:-

SL No Class of registered persons Late fee Tax period Condition to comply
1 Taxpayers having an aggregate turnover > Rs.  5 crores in the preceding financial year  NIL Feb-2020, Mar 2020 & Apr-2020 a) GSTR-3B Return need to be filed within extended period upto 24th June, 2020 for all covered months.
2. Taxpayers having an aggregate turnover > Rs. 1.50 Crores but < Rs.5 crores in the preceding financial year  NIL Feb-2020 & Mar-2020 GSTR-3B for respective months should be filed on or before extended due dates of 29th / 30th June, 2020 for all covered months.
NIL Apr-2020
3. Taxpayers having an aggregate turnover upto Rs. 1.50 crores in the preceding financial year  NIL Feb-2020 GSTR-3B should be filed on or before extended due dates of 30th June, 2020.
NIL Mar-2020 GSTR-3B should be filed on or before extended due dates of 3rd July, 2020.
NIL Apr-2020 GSTR-3B should be filed on or before extended due dates of 6th July, 2020.

 What if GSTR-3B returns are filed after extended time-limit

It is pertinent to note that if any such taxpayers fails to file the return(s) for any specified month(s) after 24th June, 2020 / respective extended due dates, as the case may be, then they are liable to pay late fee from the expiry of normal due date till the date of actual filing of Return.

4. Waiver of Late fee for delayed filing of GSTR-1 Returns (Notification No 33/2020-Central Tax Dt. 03-04-2020)

This notification has brought changes in the Notification no 04/2018 Central Tax, dated 23rd January, 2018, which, inter alia, provides for late fee payable by a registered person on delayed filing of GSTR-1 Returns within the specified time limit.

The Central Government has, with effect from 03rd Apr, 2020, given relief to trade and industry by providing compete waiver of late fee payable under section 47 of the Act for the months of March, 2020, April, 2020 and May, 2020 and for the quarter ending 31st March, 2020, as the case may be, for the registered persons who fail to furnish the details of outward supplies for the said periods in FORM GSTR-1 by the due date (i.e. 11th of next month/ 30th April,2020) , but furnishes the  details in FORM GSTR-1, on or before the 30th day of June, 2020.

Thus, a registered person who files his GSTR-1 (either monthly or quarterly), is required to file his GSTR-1 return for all respective month(s) or for Jan-2020 to Mar-2020 quarter, latest by 30th June, 2020 without any late fee.    

What if GSTR-1 returns are filed after 30th June, 2020

It is pertinent to note that if any such taxpayers fails to file the return(s) for any specified month(s) / quarter after 30th June, 2020 then he is liable to pay late fee from the expiry of normal due date till the date of actual filing of Return.

5. Time Extension for filing returns / payment of taxes for Composition taxpayers (Notification No 34/2020-Central Tax Dt. 03-04-2020)

The Central Government has provided relief to registered taxpayers under composition scheme from compliances towards payment of taxes for the Jan-2020 to Mar-2020 quarter as well as filing of Annul Form GSTR-4 for FY 2019-20 by extending their respective due date which is as follow:-

SL No Form No Tax Period Existing Due Date Extended Due Date
1 GST CMP-08 Jan-2020 to Mar-2020 18th April, 2020 7th July, 2020
2 GSTR-4 FY 2019-20 30th April, 2020 15th July, 2020

Thus, if returns are filed within extended due date, such taxpayers are not required to pay any interest or late fee. On the other hand, if returns are filed after extended due date, such taxpayers are liable to pay applicable interest as well as late fee.

6. Time extension for completion / compliances of actions, proceedings, validity etc. (Notification No 35/2020-Central Tax Dt. 03-04-2020)

The Central Government has, with effect from 20th March, 2020, extended the time for completion or compliance of any action by the any authority or by any person under the CGST Act, IGST Act, UTGST Act under the following categories:-

SL No Categories of Persons / Transaction Action to be done Expiry Date falling between Extended Due Date
1 Any Authority Under the Acts Completion of any action under the Acts from the 20th day of March, 2020 to the 29th day of June, 2020 30th day of June, 2020
2. Any Authority, Commission or Tribunal under the Acts Completion of any proceeding or passing of any order or issuance of any notice, intimation, notification, sanction or approval or such other action, by whatever name called from the 20th day of March, 2020 to the 29th day of June, 2020 30th day of June, 2020
3 Any Person Compliance of any action under the Act from the 20th day of March, 2020 to the 29th day of June, 2020 30th day of June, 2020
4 Any Person filing of any appeal, reply or application or furnishing of any report, document, return, statement or such other record, by whatever name called from the 20th day of March, 2020 to the 29th day of June, 2020 30th day of June, 2020
5 E-way bill generated under rule 138 of CGST Rules, 2017 Movement / Deliveries of goods not done and  Validity period of E-way bill is being expired From the 20th day of March, 2020 to 15th day of April, 2020 30th day of April, 2020

However, the benefit of this extension of time shall not be applicable for the compliances of the actions required in the below mentioned provisions of the Act –

(a) Chapter IV;

(b) Sub-section (3) of section 10, sections 25, 27, 31, 37, 47, 50, 69, 90, 122, 129;

(c) Section 39, except sub-section (3), (4) and (5);

(d) Section 68, in so far as e-way bill is concerned; and

(e) Rules made under the provisions specified at clause (a) to (d) above

7. Time extension for filing GSTR-3B for the month of May-2020 (Notification No 36/2020-Central Tax Dt. 03-04-2020)

This notification has brought changes in the Notification no 29/2020 Central Tax, dated 23rd  March, 2020, which has prescribed the due dates for filing the return in FORM GSTR-3B by a registered person.

The Central Government has provided relief to registered taxpayers under regular scheme from compliances towards filing of for the month of May- 2020 by extending its due date which is as follow:-

SL No Class of registered persons

 

Principal place of Business lies in State(s) of   Existing Due Date Extended Due Date
1 Taxpayers having an aggregate turnover > Rs.  5 crores in the preceding financial year All 20th Jun, 2020 27th Jun, 2020
2 Taxpayers having an aggregate turnover upto Rs.  5 crores in the preceding financial year 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 or Lakshadweep 22nd Jun, 2020 12th Jul, 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 or Delhi 24th Jun, 2020 14th Jul, 2020

Thus, the Central Government, through the above mentioned measures, has given much needed relief to the business community in current difficult time caused by Covid -19 pandemic. These measures would certainly help trade and industry as well as tax authorities sufficient time for making necessary compliances / completion under GST laws in the hope that this epidemic situation would return to normalcy as soon as possible.

Disclaimer:-

This article is authored only for general awareness purpose and do not represent any financial, legal or professional opinion or advise in any manner for any purpose. Readers are advised to refer relevant notifications from www.cbic.gov.in for their exact text before doing anything whatsoever on their part.     

(Author can be reached at cacsskj@gmail.com)

Author Bio

Qualification: CA in Practice
Company: Jain Sanjay Kumar & Associates
Location: New Delhi, New Delhi, IN
Member Since: 07 Apr 2020 | Total Posts: 1

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