GST late fee waiver unfair, say those who have paid

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GST council’s decision to waive late fee for assesses who have not filed any of their GST returns from July 2017 till March 2020 has raised several eyebrows. As the waiver has been given with the condition that such return should be filed between July 1st till September 30th, 2020, huge resentment is being witnessed amongst those assesses who have already paid huge penalties and filed their delayed GST returns.

Such taxpayers are now seeking refund of the late fees paid by them citing the reason that this is injustice to them. Several tax professionals too are of the view that the waiver of late fee should be extended to the taxpayers who already paid these.

According to Narinder Bhamra, president of Fasteners Manufacturers Association of India, “It is really shocking that the taxpayers who defaulted on filing of GST returns for months but later filed these by paying huge late fees have been shown no leniency for their compliance. On the other hand, those who have deliberately delayed filing of their returns for such long time and evaded the late fees are being rewarded by waiving off the fees and capping it to Rs 500 in case of tax liability.”

“This is sheer injustice with the tax payers who paid huge amount of fees from their hard earned money. We strongly oppose this and our association will do what so ever it takes to raise our voice against this and get relief to the tax payers who already paid the late fees,” he added.

According to Harish Kairpal, finance secretary of Knitwear Club, “We are not against waiving off late fee for GST assessees who have not filed their returns till now. But what about those who already paid huge amount in form of late fee for the delayed return filing. The GST council must give relief to such taxpayers as well who have paid such fees.”

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