GST late fee issue for past period to be discussed in next Council meeting


New Delhi, (UNI)

In Goods and Services Tax, all decisions are taken by the Centre and the State with the approval of the GST Council and it would not be possible or desirable for the Central Government to unilaterally take a view on this issue and therefore the issue of late fee will be taken up for discussion in the next GST Council meeting. 

According to a Finance Ministry statement on Monday, 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 GST which is August 2017. 

For helping the small businesses having turnover less than Rs 5 crore in the current situation arising out of COVID-19, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had already announced extension of GST returns of February, March, April and May 2020 till June 2020. No late fee will be charged for this period. 

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

'It may be appreciated that the 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,' the ministry said. 

GST Council meeting is likely to be held on June 14, the first such meeting after the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic. 

Tax collection has been hit due to lockdown imposed since March 25 to contain the spread of coronavirus. 

The GST Council is headed by the Union Finance Minister and comprises representatives of all states and Union Territories


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