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GST Council’s relief measures for Covid-hit small businesses

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New Delhi, June 12 (IANS) In a bid to provide relief to small businesses amid the coronavirus pandemic, the GST Council on Friday decided to halve the interest rate on late filing of GSTR-3B returns for the period of February, March and April 2020.

The interest rate on late return filing will be 9 per cent from the usual 18 percent till September 30, 2020. The benefit will be available for small taxpayers with aggregate turnover of up to Rs 5 crore.

For the three months, small taxpayers will not be charged any interest till the notified dates for relief and thereafter 9 per cent interest will be charged till September 30, a Finance Ministry statement said.

“For small taxpayers (aggregate turnover upto Rs 5 crore), for the supplies effected in the month of February, March and April 2020, the rate of interest for late furnishing of return for the said months beyond specified dates (staggered upto 6th July 2020) is reduced from 18 per cent per annum to 9 per cent per annum till 30.09.2020,” said the statement.

The Council has also extended relief to small taxpayers for subsequent period of 2020 through waiver of late fees and interest if the returns in Form GSTR-3B for the supplies effected in the months of May, June and July are furnished by September 2020.

It has also decided to reduce the late fee on the filing of GSTR-3B returns for the period between July 2017 and January 2020. The late fee has been capped at Rs 500, but interest will be charged at the existing rate on the due tax liability.

Speaking to the media here after a GST Council meet through videoconference, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that those entities with no tax liability will not have to submit the late fee for the period.

For entities with tax liability but which have not filed returns or have filed returns late, the late fee has been capped at Rs 500 without interest. Interest will, however, be payable on the tax component at the applicable rate for delays.

To facilitate taxpayers who could not get their cancelled GST registrations restored in time, the Council has provided an opportunity for filing of application for revocation of cancellation of registration up to September 30, 2020, in all cases where registrations have been cancelled till June 12, 2020.

–IANS

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