Late fee shall be levied on the late filing of GST returns as per Central Goods and Services Act (CGST Act).
Chapter IX of CGST Act prescribes the due date of furnishing different GST returns. In case, GST returns are not furnished within the time limit, late fees shall be levied on it.
The due date of furnishing the GSTR 1 is tenth day of the month succeeding the said tax period. If a registered person furnished the GSTR 1 after 10th of next month, then such person shall be liable to pay a penalty of two hundred rupees for delay of each day.
Revised Late Fee Rates:
The government has reduced the rates of late fees on late filing of GSTR-1, GSTR-3B (October 2017 onwards), GSTR-4, GSTR-5, GSTR-5A and GSTR6 by way of different notifications.
Currently, for the aforesaid returns, the late fees for filing the normal return is 50 rupees for each day of delay and for nil return, it is 20 rupees per day.
For example: A taxpayer has filed GSTR 3B of November 2018, on 29th of December, whose due date is 20th December.
Such taxpayer shall be liable for late fees of Rs. 180 (Rs. 20 per day*9 days).
It is to be noted that, in the GST Portal, late fees for a month is added in the return of subsequent month.
In the aforesaid example, the late fees of Rs. 180 for November 2018 return will be added in the return of subsequent month i.e. in GSTR 3B of December, 2018.
Recommendation made in 31st Council Meeting:
In the recent 31st Council Meeting, GST Council has recommended that late fees shall be completely waived for all taxpayers in case of GSTR-1, GSTR 3B & GSTR-4 return for the months/quarters July, 2017 to September, 2018, if these returns are furnished after 22.12.2018 but on or before 31.03.2019.
However, for the above recommendation, notification is still to come.
The government has taken a decision for waiving off complete late fees for the returns of July, 2017 to September, 2018 but I am finding lot of troubles with the condition of time limit for furnishing the return i.e. 22nd December, 2018 to 31st March, 2019.
Government has tried to play a smart game here by laying such condition but this will spread wrong message to the taxpayer.
Just think about a taxpayer who has urnished all his returns from July 2017 to October 2018 in November month by paying late fees of 40k to 50k rupees. Such person must be thinking why he has paid the late fees. This is really unfair to such honest person who has complied with GST law even by paying late fees.
This condition will only benefit to such untruthful person who is not concerned with compliance of Indian laws.
This will certainly extend the notion that the government will sooner and later waive the late fees for filing the returns and hence, will encourage the persons to not file the return within the time limits.
Thus, the government should find the consistency for waiving off the late fees for all the taxpayers, whether taxpayer has already paid the late fee or not. So, government should return the taxpayer’s money which is already paid as late fees if government really want to waive the late fee with fair intentions.
For the above reasons, the government should waive the late fee for all the taxpayers irrespective of timing of filing of return and expecting that government will come out with a notification that will waive the late fee for all taxpa