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COVID-19: CBIC issues clarification w.r.t. relief measures provided to the taxpayers for filing GST Returns

COVID-19: CBIC issues clarification w.r.t. relief measures provided to the taxpayers for filing GST Returns

The CBIC vide Circular No. 136/06/2020- GST dated April 3, 2020 clarified various issues (Notification No. 30 to 35/2020 dated April 3, 2020) announced by the Government for providing relief to the taxpayers in view of spread of Novel Corona Virus (COVID- 19).

Issue: What are the measures that have been specifically taken for taxpayers who have opted to pay tax under section 10 of the CGST Act or those availing the option to pay tax under the notification No. 02/2019– Central Tax (Rate), dated the March 7, 2019?

Clarification:

  1. The said class of taxpayers, as per the notification No. 34/2020- Central Tax, dated April 3, 2020, have been allowed, to-

(i) furnish the statement of details of payment of self-assessed tax in FORM GST CMP-08 for the quarter January to March, 2020 by July 7, 2020; and

(ii) furnish the return in FORM GSTR-4 for the financial year 2019-20 by July 15, 2020.

  1. In addition to the above, taxpayers opting for the composition scheme for the financial year 2020-21, have been allowed, as per the notification No. 30/2020- Central Tax, dated April 3, 2020, to-

(i) file an intimation in FORM GST CMP-02 by June 30, 2020; and

(ii) furnish the statement in FORM GST ITC-03 till July 31, 2020

Issue: Whether due date of furnishing FORM GSTR-3B for the months of February, March and April, 2020 has been extended?

Clarification:

  1. The due dates for furnishing FORM GSTR-3B for the months of February, March and April, 2020 has not been extended through any of the notifications referred in para 2 above.
  2. However, as per notification No. 31/2020- Central Tax, dated April 3, 2020, NIL rate of interest for first 15 days after the due date of filing return in FORM GSTR-3B and reduced rate of interest @ 9% thereafter has been notified for those registered persons whose aggregate turnover in the preceding financial year is above Rs. 5 Crore. For those registered persons having turnover up to Rs. 5 Crore in the preceding financial year, NIL rate of interest has also been notified.
  3. Further, vide notification as per the notification No. 32/2020- Central Tax, dated April 3, 2020, Government has waived the late fees for delay in furnishing the return in FORM GSTR-3B for the months of February, March and April, 2020.
  4. The lower rate of interest and waiver of late fee would be available only if due tax is paid by filing return in FORM GSTR-3B by the date(s) as specified in the Notification.

Issue: What are the conditions attached for availing the reduced rate of interest for the months of February, March and April, 2020, for a registered person whose aggregate turnover in the preceding financial year is above Rs. 5 Crore?

Clarification:

  1. As clarified at sl.no. (2) above, the due date for furnishing the return remains unchanged; i.e. 20th day of the month succeeding such month. The rate of interest has been notified as Nil for first 15 days from the due date, and 9 per cent per annum thereafter, for the said months.
  2. The reduced rate of interest is subject to the condition that the registered person must furnish the returns in FORM GSTR-3B on or before 24th day of June, 2020.
  3. In case the returns in FORM GSTR-3B for the said months are not furnished on or before 24th day of June, 2020 then interest at 18% per annum shall be payable from the due date of return, till the date on which the return is filed. In addition, regular late fee shall also be leviable for such delay along with liability for penalty.

Issue: How to calculate the interest for late payment of tax for the months of February, March and April, 2020 for a registered person whose aggregate turnover in the preceding financial year is above Rs. 5 Crore?

Clarification: As explained above, the rate of interest has been notified as Nil for first 15 days from the due date, and 9 per cent per annum thereafter, for the said months. The same can be explained through an illustration.

Illustration:- Calculation of interest for delayed filing of return for the month of March, 2020 (due date of filing being April 20, 2020) may be illustrated as per the below Table:

S.No. Date of filing GSTR-3B No. of days of delay Whether the condition for reduced interest is fulfilled? Interest
1 02.05.2020 11 Yes Zero interest
2 20.05.2020 30 Yes Zero interest for 15 days + interest rate @9% p.a. for 15 days
3 20.06.2020 61 Yes Zero interest for 15 days + interest rate @9% p.a. for 46 days
4 24.06.2020 65 Yes Zero interest for 15 days + interest rate @9% p.a. for 50 days
5 30.06.2020 71 No Interest rate @18% p.a. for 71 days (i.e. no benefit of reduced interest)

Issue: What are the conditions attached for availing the NIL rate of interest for the months of February, March and April, 2020, for a registered person whose aggregate turnover in preceding financial year is up to Rs. 5 Crore?

Clarification:

  1. As clarified at sl.no. (2) above, the due date for furnishing the return remains unchanged. The rate of interest has been notified as Nil for the said months.
  2. The conditions for availing the NIL rate of interest is that the registered person must furnish the returns in FORM GSTR-3B on or before the date as mentioned in the notification No. 31/2020- Central Tax, dated April 3, 2020.
  3. In case the return for the said months are not furnished on or before the date mentioned in the notification then interest at 18% per annum shall be charged from the due date of return, till the date on which the return is filed as explained in the illustration at sl.no (4) above, against entry 5. in addition, regular late fee shall also be leviable for such delay along with liability for penalty.

Issue: Whether the due date of furnishing the statement of outward supplies in FORM GSTR-1 under section 37 of the Central Goods and Services Tax Act, 2017 (“CGST Act”) has been extended for the months of February, March and April 2020?

Clarification: Under the provisions of section 128CGST Act, in terms of notification No. 33/2020- Central Tax, dated April 3, 2020, late fee leviable under section 47 has been waived for delay in furnishing the statement of outward supplies in FORM GSTR-1 under Section 37, for the tax periods March, 2020, April 2020, May, 2020 and quarter ending March 31, 2020 if the same are furnished on or before June 30, 2020.

Issue: Whether restriction under rule 36(4) of the Central Goods and Services Tax Rules, 2017 (“CGST Rules”), would apply during the lockdown period?

Clarification: Vide notification No. 30/2020- Central Tax, dated April 3, 2020, a proviso has been inserted in CGST Rules to provide that the said condition shall not apply to input tax credit availed by the registered persons in the returns in FORM GSTR-3B for the months of February, March, April, May, June, July and August, 2020, but that the said condition shall apply cumulatively for the said period and that the return in FORM GSTR-3B for the tax period of September, 2020 shall be furnished with cumulative adjustment of input tax credit for the said months in accordance with the condition under rule 36(4) of the CGST Rules.

Issue: What will be the status of e-way bills which have expired during the lockdown period?

Clarification: In terms of notification No. 35/2020- Central Tax, dated April 3, 2020, issued under the provisions of 168A of the CGST Act, where the validity of an e-way bill generated under rule 138 of the CGST Rules expires during the period March 20, 2020 to April 15, 2020, the validity period of such e-way bill has been extended till April 30, 2020.

Issue: What are the measures that have been specifically taken for taxpayers who are required to deduct tax at source under section 51, Input Service Distributors and Non-resident Taxable persons?

Clarification: Under the provisions of section 168A of the CGST Act, in terms of notification No. 35/2020- Central Tax, dated April 3, 2020, the said class of taxpayers have been allowed to furnish the respective returns specified in sub-sections (3), (4) and (5) of section 39 of the CGST Act, for the months of March, 2020 to May, 2020 on or before June 30, 2020.

Issue: What are the measures that have been specifically taken for taxpayers who are required to collect tax at source under section 52?

Clarification: Under the provisions of section 168A of the CGST Act, in terms of notification No. 35/2020- Central Tax, dated April 3, 2020, the said class of taxpayers have been allowed to furnish the statement specified in section 52, for the months of March, 2020 to May, 2020 on or before the June 30, 2020.

Issue: The time limit for compliance of some of the provisions of the CGST Act is falling during the lock-down period announced by the Government. What should the taxpayer do?

Clarification: Vide notification No. 35/2020- Central Tax, dated April 3, 2020, issued under the provisions of 168A of the CGST Act, except for few provisions covered in exclusion clause, any time limit for completion or compliance of any action which falls during the period from March 20, 2020 to June 29, 2020, and where completion or compliance of such action has not been made within such time, has been extended to June 30, 2020.

Further, the Government has issued following notifications in order to provide relief to the Taxpayers:

Date Source Reference No. Subject
April 03, 2020 CBIC Notification No. 30/2020 – Central Tax Seeks to amend CGST Rules (Fourth Amendment) in order to allow opting Composition Scheme for FY 2020-21 till 30.06.2020 and to allow cumulative application of condition in rule 36(4).
April 03, 2020 CBIC Notification No. 31/2020 – Central Tax Seeks to provide relief by conditional lowering of interest rate for tax periods of February, 2020 to April, 2020.
April 03, 2020 CBIC Notification No. 32/2020 – Central Tax Seeks to provide relief by conditional waiver of late fee for delay in furnishing returns in FORM GSTR-3B for tax periods of February, 2020 to April, 2020.
April 03, 2020 CBIC Notification No. 33/2020 – Central Tax Seeks to provide relief by conditional waiver of late fee for delay in furnishing outward statement in FORM GSTR-1 for tax periods of February, 2020 to April, 2020.
April 03, 2020 CBIC Notification No. 34/2020 – Central Tax Seeks to extend due date of furnishing FORM GST CMP-08 for the quarter ending March, 2020 till 07.07.2020 and filing FORM GSTR-4 for FY 2020-21 till 15.07.2020.
April 03, 2020 CBIC Notification No. 35/2020 – Central Tax Seeks to extend due date of compliance which falls during the period from “20.03.2020 to 29.06.2020” till 30.06.2020 and to extend validity of e-way bills.

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