The government keeps on announcing Amnesty schemes so that a one-time facility is provided to taxpayers to become tax complied by paying a reduced amount of late fees and penalties. Amnesty schemes encourage defaulters to become legally compliant as they have to pay a lower amount of penalties.
The government has once again issued multiple notifications on 31st March 2023 and came up with amnesty schemes for various GST returns such as GSTR-4 (Return of Composition Dealer), GSTR-10 (Final Return), GSTR- 9 (Annual Return) and return in response to notice under section 62. Further, the department has once again opened a portal to revoke canceled GSTINs where applications for revocation could not be filed within the permitted time limit.
Department has also extended the time limit to carry out assessments wherein tax has been short-paid or not paid or erroneously refunded or ITC has been wrongly availed or utilized.
Here is the gist of notifications issued by the GST Department on 31st March 2023.
1. Amnesty Schemes
1.1 Amnesty Scheme to File Pending GSTR-4 (Return for dealers opted for Composition Scheme)
- GSTR-4 is a return that is required to be filed by the Dealers who have opted for the Composition Scheme.
- Till March 2019, such return was required to be filed on a quarterly basis. However, w.e.f. April 2019, such return was made annual and quarterly returns were replaced with GST CMP-08.
- The government has announced an amnesty scheme to file pending GSTR-4 from July, 2017 onwards vide Notification No. 02/2023 – Central Tax dated 31st March, 2023.
- Dealers can file pending GSTR-4 for any quarter from July, 2017 to March, 2019 and for any Financial year from 2019-20 to 2021-22 by paying the following amount of late fee:
- Dealers are required to file pending GST returns between 1, April 2023 and 30,June 2023.
1.2 Amnesty Scheme to file pending GSTR-10
- GSTR-10 is a Final return that is required to be filed when GST registration is canceled or surrendered.
- Every dealer whose GST registration is canceled should file GSTR-10 within 3 months from date of cancellation of GST registration. This return is intended to provide details of the ITC involved in closing stock (including inputs and capital goods) to be reversed/ paid by the taxpayer.
- The government has announced an amnesty scheme to file pending GSTR-10 vide Notification No. 03/2023– Central Tax dated 31st March, 2023.
- Any person can file pending GSTR-10 on payment of late fee of INR 1000 (CGST- 500 & SGST 500).
- However, such GSTR-10 should be filed between 1st April, 2023 to 30th June, 2023.
1.3 Amnesty Scheme to file GST return in response to Assessment Order Issued U/s 62
- Section 62 provides the power of best judgment assessment in case where a registered person failed to file GST return.
- As per Section 62(1) of CGST Act, where a registered person fails to furnish GSTR-3B or Final Return in GSTR-10, even after the service of a notice, then proper officer may assess tax liability of such person to the best of his judgement.
- However, as per Section 62(2) of CGST Act, registered person can file a valid GST return within 30 days from date of service of such assessment order. Such Assessment order shall withdraw.
- Government has announced an amnesty scheme for taxpayers who have failed to file valid return within 30 days vide Notification No. 06/2023- Central tax dated 31st March, 2023.
- As per Amnesty Scheme, if a registered person fails to file valid return within 30 days from date of service of the assessment order issued on or before 28th February, 2023 then such assessment order shall stand withdrawn if such registered person:
- File valid return on or before 30th June, 2023; and
- Return is accompanied with payment of Interest and Late Fee.
- The Amnesty scheme shall apply irrespective of whether or not an appeal had been filed against such assessment order or whether or not the appeal, if any, filed against the said assessment order has been decided.
1.4 Amnesty Scheme to file Annual return in GSTR-9
- GSTR-9 is an Annual return required to be filed by every person whose aggregate turnover exceeds INR 2 Crores during the year.
- Late filing of GSTR-9 attracts a late fee of INR 400 per day (CGST 200 & SGST 200) during the period when the default continues.
- Government has announced an amnesty scheme to file pending GSTR-9 vide Notification No. 07/2023-Central Tax dated 31st March, 2023.
- Any registered person who has failed to file GSTR-9 of any Financial year from 2017-18 onwards can file pending GSTR-9 on payment of following amount of late fee:
|Class of registered Person||Late Fee Payable|
|Registered persons having an aggregate turnover of upto INR 5 crore in relevant Financial year||INR 50 Per Day (CGST 25 & SGST 25) subject to a maximum of 0.02% of turnover in the State or Union territory.|
|Registered persons having an aggregate turnover more than Rs.5 crore and upto Rs.20 Crore||INR 100 Per Day (CGST 50 & SGST 50) subject to a maximum of 0.02% of turnover in the State or Union territory.|
- However, the Maximum amount of late fee shall not exceed INR 20,000 (Rs.10,000 CGST+Rs.10,000 CGST).
- Further, pending Annual Return is required to be filed 1st April, 2023 to 30th June, 2023.
2. Extension of time limit for revocation of cancellation of registration
- As per Section 29 of CGST Act, any registered person whose GST registration is cancelled by proper officer on his own motion may apply for revocation of cancellation of GST registration.
- However, such an application of revocation should be filed within 30 days from date of service of the cancellation order. Such person may be further extended by 30 days by the Additional/Joint Commission and by further 30 days by Commissioner.
- Therefore, there are many dealers whose GST registration is canceled only because the time limit of filing revocation has been expired and now no window is available to get the revival done.
- Government has announced a one-time opportunity for taxpayers to revive their GST registration vide Notification No. 03/2023- Central Tax dated 31st March, 2023.
- As per Notification, a Registered person whose registration has been canceled on or before 31st December 2022 and who has failed to apply for revocation of cancellation by the due date can now apply for revocation by 30th June 2023.
- However, cancellation shall be revoked subject to following conditions:
- The application of Revocation to be filed only after filling all the returns due upto effective date of cancellation of registration;
- Returns are filed with payment of taxes along with any amount payable towards interest, penalty and late fees of such returns.
- The government has clarified that application no further extension of time period for filing application for revocation in such cases shall be available.
- Further, revocation can be filled by a person whose appeal against the order of cancellation of registration has been rejected on the ground of failure to adhere to the time limit specified under sub-section (1) of section 30 of the said Act.
3. Extension of Time limit to determine tax not paid or short paid or erroneously refunded or ITC wrongly availed or utilized
- As per Section 73 of CGST Act, Where it appears to the proper officer that any tax has not been paid or short paid or erroneously refunded, or where ITC has been wrongly availed or utilized for any reason, other than the reason of fraud or any wilful- misstatement or suppression of facts to evade tax, then the proper officer shall service the notice on such person requiring him to show cause as to why he should not pay such amount along with interest and penalty.
- The proper officer shall determine the amount of tax payable along with interest and penalty after considering the representation received from registered person.
- However, the proper officer is required to issue order within 3 years from the due date for furnishing of annual return for the relevant financial year.
- The government has extended period of limitation vide Notification No. 09/2023- Central Tax dated 31st March, 2023 in the following manner:
|Financial Year||Extended Due Date|
|2017-18||31st December, 2023|
|2018-19||31st March, 2024|
|2019-20||30th June, 2023|
4. Aadhar Authentication and biometric-based Aadhaar authentication
- Every registered person is required to carry out Aadhar authentication at the time of filing the application of GST registration.
- Certain amendments are made in provisions related to Aadhar Authentication vide Notification No. 04/2023- Central Tax dated 31st March, 2023.
- Where an applicant opts for authentication of Aadhaar number, he shall, while submitting the application for GST registration, undergo authentication of Aadhaar number and the date of submission of the application in such cases shall be earlier of following date:
- the date of authentication of the Aadhaar number, or
- 15 days from the submission of the application in Part B of FORM GST REG-01.
- Further, Individuals identified based on data analysis and risk parameters must undergo biometric-based Aadhaar authentication with photo submission and document verification either on the GST portal or at facilitation centers.
- Biometric-based authentication involves capturing photographs and biometric information of the individual.
- The said changes shall be deemed to have come into force from 26.12.2022.
- The revised rule aims to streamline the GST registration process and improve the authenticity of registered taxpayers.