GST Council may consider ‘One Time Amnesty Scheme’ for Non/ Nil Filers of GST Returns
As per reports in media, the GST Council may consider ‘one time amnesty scheme’ for exit of non-filers/ nil-filers of GST Returns to facilitate about 25 lac registered/ migrated taxpayers who file their returns with ‘nil’ GST liability and about 10% of the taxpayers who have never filed their returns post registration/ migration.
Why Govt is considering One Time Amnesty Scheme under GST ?
“Approximately there are 25 lakh ‘nil’ filer assessees while on an average 10 per cent of assessees have never filed returns so far,” a senior tax official told News Media
In view of the fact that these taxpayers have no contribution to the GST collection and they are adding unnecessary workload on the GSTN Systems, an amnesty scheme for exit of such taxpayers may be considered by the GST Council to bring relief to the tax payers through reduced compliance cost for them and reduced burden for GSTN Systems.
According to the GST Act , every person registered under GST will have to file returns in some form or the other. A registered person will have to file returns either monthly (normal supplier) or quarterly basis (supplier opting for composition scheme). An ISD (Input Service Distributor) will have to file monthly returns showing details of credit distributed during the particular month. A person required to deduct tax (TDS or Tax Deducted at Source) and persons required to collect tax (TCS or Tax Collected at Source) will also have to file monthly returns showing the amount deducted/collected and other specified details. A non-resident taxable person will also have to file returns for the period of activity undertaken.
During the pre-GST regime,
the States had different slabs for registration under VAT/ST, which was as low as Rs 1 lakh and could go up to Rs 10 lakh:
the thresholds for Service Tax and Central Excise were Rs 10 lakh and Rs 1.5 crore respectively.
Now under GST Act , the threshold is Rs 20 lakh (Rs 10 lakh in some special category States) which means many from the pre-GST regime can take advantage of the amnesty scheme to exit with ease.
How One Time Amnesty Scheme under GST will benefit taxpayers ?
Amnesty scheme will ensure completion of pending compliance on the part of such taxpayers since such schemes have generally resulted in increased tax revenues and compliance.
However, it is yet to be seen whether the proposal gets approval of GST Council or not? If yes, then again the matter is subject to the terms and conditions of the scheme, like immunity from penalties, investigations of participants, etc.
Late fee in case of Non filing of GST Returns
at present ,any registered entity under GST act not filing return will have to pay penalty in the form of late fee.
For late filing of GSTR 3B, the entity is obliged to pay a late fee of Rs 50 a day, that is, ₹25 per day in each case of CGST and SGST (in case of any tax liability) and Rs 20 a day, that is, Rs 10 in each CGST and SGST (in case of Nil tax liability) subject to a maximum of Rs 5,000 from the given due date to the actual date when the returns are finally filed.
Thus Amnesty scheme is likely to give relief from such fees.