GST return deadlines extended; late fee waived

GST Date Extension

The government has extended the deadlines for routine Goods and Services Tax compliances, reduced the interest charged on delayed tax payments and offered late fee waiver for taxpayers, granting these concessions for a limited time window of a fortnight to a month, effective May 1.

The Finance Ministry has said this is being done in view of the challenges faced by taxpayers in meeting the statutory and regulatory GST compliances due to the outbreak of the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Instead of levying an 18% penal interest for delayed payments, the Ministry has lowered the rate to zero or 9% for different categories of taxpayers. Traders registered under the Composition Scheme will not have to pay interest for 15 days after the normal due dates for tax payments, 9% for the next 15 days and 18%, thereafter.

Similarly, late fee has been waived for 15 days for submitting returns in Form GSTR-3B for the months of March and April for firms with turnover over ₹5 crore and 30 days for those with a turnover of less than ₹5 crore.

Tax returns due this month for transactions undertaken in April have also been granted 15 more days and returns for the full financial year 2020-21 can now be submitted till May 31, instead of April 30.

In April, several deadlines under the Income Tax Act of 1961 had also been extended due to the pandemic’s resurgence.