GST Council to take up late fee waiver for GSTR 3B returns in next meeting

The late fee waiver for GSTR 3B returns has been one of the key demands form the industry.
The goods and services tax ( GST) Council will take up the waiver of late fees for the GST summary returns or GSTR 3B since its introduction in the next meeting, the government said on Monday. 

The late fee waiver for GSTR 3B returns has been one of the key demands form the industry. 

"...the trade is informed that the issue of late fee would be taken up for discussion in the next GST Council meeting," the ministry of finance said in a release.

The last GST meeting was held on March 14, before the coronavirus lockdown. The next one will take place some time this month, most likely via video conferencing.

In GST, all decisions are taken by the Centre and the State with the approval of the GST Council. "It would not be possible or desirable for the Central Government to unilaterally take a view on this issue," said the release. 

Finance minister Nirmala Sitharamam had announced extension of GST returns of February, March, April and May 2020 till June 2020 for small business with turnover of up to Rs 5 crore due to Covid. No late fee will be charged for this period, she had said.

The current requests for waiver of late fee pertain to the old period (August 2017 to January 2020). 

"In the recent past, tweets have been noticed by the government on the issue of waiver of late fee applicable on non-filing of GSTR 3B returns. The demands are largely for the waiver of late fee for the returns which were required to be filed from the beginning of GST, that is, August 2017," the release said.

It noted that late fee is imposed to ensure that the taxpayers file return in time and pay taxes on the amount collected from buyers and due to the government. "This is a step to ensure that a certain discipline is maintained regarding compliance. Honest and compliant taxpayers would be discriminated negatively in the absence of such a provision," it said. 

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