The tax officers have been following divergent practices when it comes to the appropriate procedure to be followed in case of non-furnishing of returns by a registered person (“defaulter”) under section 39 or 44 or 45 of the Central Goods and Services Tax Act, 2017 (“CGST Act”).
The CBIC vide CIRCULAR NO. 129/48/2019 – GST dated December 24th, 2019 has provided the following guidelines as under to ensure uniformity in the implementation of provisions of law across field formations –
- A system-generated message be sent to registered persons 3 days before return filing due date to nudge them to file their returns for the tax period by the due date.
- A system generated mail/message be sent immediately to all defaulters conveying that the return for the relevant tax period has not been furnished once the due date for furnishing return under Section 39 of the CGST Act is over.
- A notice in form GSTR-3A is issued electronically 5 days after the due date of furnishing return to any person who has failed to furnish return under Section 39 of the CGST Act requiring him to furnish such return within 15 days.
- In case the return is still not filed by the defaulter within 15 days of the said notice then the proper officer may proceed to assess the liability of the said person under Section 62 of the CGST Act to the best of his judgment taking into account all the relevant material which is available or which he has gathered and issued order under Rule 100 of the Central Goods and Services Tax Rules, 2017 (“the CGST Rules”) in FORM GST ASMT-13. The proper officer would then be required to upload the summary thereof in FORM GST DRC-07.
- For the purpose of assessment of liability under Section 62 of the CGST Act, the proper officer may consider
- The details of the outward supplies available in a statement furnished under Section 37 of the CGST Act (FORM GSTR-1),
- The details of supplies auto-populated in FORM GSTR-2A,
- The information available from E-way bills,
- Or any other information available from any other source, including from inspection under section 71 of the CGST Act.
- In case the defaulter furnishes a valid return within 30 days of service of assessment order in FORM GST ASMT-13 then the said assessment order shall be deemed to have been withdrawn as per Section 62(2) of the CGST Act. However, if the said return remains unfurnished within the period of 30 days from the issuance of an order in FORM GST ASMT-13 then the proper officer may initiate proceedings under Section 78 and recovery under Section 79 of the CGST Act.
In deserving cases, based on facts of the case, the Commissioner may resort to the provisional attachment to protect revenue under section 83 of the CGST Act before issuance of FORM GST ASMT-13.
Further, the proper officer would initiate action under sub-section (2) of section 29 of the CGST Act for cancellation of registration in cases where the return has not been furnished for the period specified in section 29.