Good news for taxpayers! Govt relaxes several compliance timelines under GST amid COVID-19 crisis

In a relief for taxpayers amid the COVID-19 crisis, the central government has announced several relaxations regarding timelines for GST compliance norms.

Among the relaxations, the government has extended the deadline for filing GST returns and reduced the interest and late fee for delayed return filing for March and April.

The announcement will come as some relief to the taxpayers as several states have announced lockdowns to contain the virus spread, which impacts business.

As per the suggestions of the GST Council, the government has decided that the timeline for compliance of certain actions which fall due during April 15 and May 30, would be extended till May 31.

Further, businesses with up to Rs 5 crore sales will have no interest liability for late reporting of monthly summary of transactions for March and April for the first 15 days from the due date, said a notification.

For the next 15 days, there will be a concessional nine per cent annual interest and 18 per cent, thereafter.

The waiver of interest for the first 15 days followed by a nine per cent concessional rate for the next 15 days, has also been given to small businesses filing their March 2021 quarterly returns.

A notification from the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) also said that there is a late fee waiver for the monthly returns to be filed for March and April. Companies with sales up to Rs 5 crore get a late fee waiver for a month from the due date while larger businesses would get a 15-day waiver.

Further, small businesses filing quarterly returns would get a late fee waiver for 30 days from the due date for the March quarter returns. They have also been given extra time of one month till May-end to file their annual returns for FY21.