– globalbihari bureau
New Delhi: Any decision on waiver of late fee would be taken after a discussion on the issue in the next GST Council meeting, the Finance ministry stated here on Monday. It added that the demands from the businesses were largely for the waiver of late fee for the returns which were required to be filed from the beginning of Goods & Services Tax (GST), that was August, 2017.
“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,” it explained.
As the current requests for waiver of late fee pertain to the old period — August 2017 to January 2020, a ministry release stated: “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.”
It may be noted that 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,” a ministry release reiterated.