The government, on the recommendations of the powerful Goods and Services Tax Council, has waived the penalty of Rs 200 per day for taxpayers who failed to file the first GST returns within the deadline. The taxpayers will, however, have to bear the interest on late payment of dues.
In a statement issued today, the Ministry of Finance said that the taxpayers had to file the GST returns for July by August 25 and those claiming transitional input tax credit by August 28.
"Late fee for all taxpayers who could not file GSTR-3B for month of July has been waived, but not the interest on late payment of dues. Interest will be applicable to all taxpayers who have not discharged their complete GST liability for July by August 25," the Ministry said in a tweet.
Earlier, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had said that the taxpayers who failed to meet the deadline will have to bear a penalty of Rs 200 per day -- Rs 100 for Central GST and Rs 100 for State GST.
A total of about 5.95 million taxpayers for July should have filed the GST returns, but till August 29 only about 3.83 million (or 64.42 per cent) had complied, Jaitley had said earlier. Thus, the remaining 2.1 million taxpayers were facing penalty for late filing.
The Finance Ministry in a circular on Friday evening also said that the taxpayers who might have made errors in filing the first GST returns could make corrections while filing the GSTR-1 and GSTR-2 forms for the month of July.
Form GSTR-1 reflects sales of a business while GSTR-2 reflects purchases. For July, GSTR-1 needs to be filed between September 1 and 5 and GSTR-2 between September 6 and 10.
The circular stated that there would be a reconciliation of the forms to see if there was any mismatch and the under-reporting or excess-reporting of the tax would thus be corrected.
The corrected data would be auto-populated and reflected in GSTR-3, which is a combination of sales and purchases. GSTR-3 for July needs to be filed between September 11 and 15.
In case there was additional tax liability for July, the taxpayers should submit the additional payment with interest.
In case there was reduction in liability, the excess input tax credit would be carried forward to the next month's return and if there was additional input tax credit, additional credit would be made available, the circular stated.
"It may be noted that the circular is silent on cases where there is excess payment of GST in cash and whether the same could be carried forward to the next return and how," GST expert Pritam Mahure said.